Know About the Oldest SBI Branch: A Stalwart of Banking History

The oldest branch is a testament to SBI's unrelenting commitment to serving the nation, it stands as a living monument to a rich banking tradition and a symbol of financial stability for generations to come.

Sakshi Upadhyay
New Update


The State Bank of India (SBI), one of the country's oldest and most trusted banking institutions, has a presence that dates back many decades in the capital city. In this article, we delve into the intriguing history and facts surrounding the oldest SBI branch in Delhi.



The Pioneering Branch:

Established in 1806, the SBI branch located at 11, Sansad Marg, New Delhi, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the banking giant. The 80-foot-high colonial building is not only the oldest branch of SBI but also one of the largest in the country to this day. Originally known as the Bank of Calcutta, it was founded under a charter by the British East India Company. Over time, it underwent several transformations before being rechristened as the State Bank of India in 1955, as part of a major banking reform in India.

Situated in the heart of British India, this branch played a pivotal role in shaping the subcontinent's future by facilitating trade and commerce during the colonial era. The historical significance of its location cannot be overstated, as it was often the site of crucial decisions.

Today, the building also houses a mini-museum in the main reception area, showcasing these lesser-known facts. Situated in Old Delhi’s bustling business center, which once housed the court of the English rulers, the building was acquired by the Bank of Delhi in 1847. It was here, during the siege of Delhi in 1857, that bank manager George Beresford, his wife, and five daughters were tragically killed by freedom fighters.

Originally owned by a Briton named Dyce Sombre, the bank later saw ownership by native businessmen. Housed in this stately building since 1857, it unfortunately fell into dereliction during the Anglo-Indian War of 1857.



Architectural Grandeur

The oldest SBI branch in Delhi is not just a historical marvel but also an architectural delight. Its colonial-era architecture exudes grandeur, with Corinthian columns and intricately designed interiors that transport visitors to a bygone era. The branch has successfully merged the charm of the past with the convenience of modern banking. Its architecture will make you pause and admire, absorbing its beauty and colonial style.

Featuring hexastyle Corinthian columns, a balustrade terrace, arched doorways, a spiral iron staircase, old English lifts, and tinted glass windows, the building stands as a living example of European architecture.



A New Journey 

After the bank was declared a heritage building in 2002, restoration work commenced. The sandstone on the plinth had faded, sandstone steps had been replaced with cement, the original iron railings were replaced, lime plaster was replaced with cement plaster, thereby altering the interior and initiating a deterioration process in the brickwork, and the classical elements of the upper verandah had been concealed behind concrete screens. The banking hall was also restored.

The aim of the restoration process was to retain the building's historical character and update the interior to meet modern needs. During restoration, lime plaster was removed as the red sandstone steps were reconstructed. Wrought iron railings replaced the existing railings, and wooden windows replaced the concrete screens, altering the building's architectural elements.

The oldest SBI branch in Delhi was not merely a place for financial transactions; it's a living relic of India's banking history. With its historical significance, architectural beauty, and strong customer relationships, this branch embodies the essence of the State Bank of India. As it continues to serve the people of Delhi, it remains an invaluable part of the city's fabric, connecting its past with the present and future.

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