If the talk materializes, SBI will be the first Indian public sector bank to offer this niche service, which is presently offered only by few selected banks like ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered and Citibank.

SBI is expected to hold majority stake in the new joint venture holding 60% stake and Societe Generale will control the remaining stake.

The move will allow SBI to be flexible in fixing private banking employees salaries and not be constrained by restrictive pay scales.

Societe Generale had entered into the Indian private banking business in 2005 and has offices in Delhi and Mumbai. The partnership with SBI is further expected to expand its footprint in India.

The service is expected to target ultra high net worth individuals, who have assets worth atleast $1m.

Private banking service includes providing investment advice, addressing all financial needs of a customer, ranging from managing and growing assets to handover of wealth to future generations. Usually, the service is rendered on a more personal basis than in mass-market retail banking, usually via dedicated bank advisers.