If you are planning to carry out any important bank-related work on September 26 and 27, you might have to do it before or post it as operations in key public sector banks are likely to be hit due to proposed strike of bank unions. Four unions of officers of public sector banks have threatened to go on a two-day strike from September 26 to protest against the announced consolidation (also known as Bank Merger) of 10 state-run lenders into four.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 30 declared a major merger of public sector banks. Sitharaman said the Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank will merge to form the country's second-largest public sector bank with a business of Rs. 17.95 lakh crore.
The move aims to make state-owned lenders global sized banks, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in a press conference.
But not many employees working in the banks that are involved in the merger are buying this argument. Today, members of Allahabad Bank Officers Federation protested against the merger proposal of the bank. A protest-meet in Kolkata attracted hundreds of employees.
The State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday said the operations of the bank could be affected if the two-day strike call given by officers' unions materialises.
"While bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our bank may be impacted to some extent by the strike," SBI said in a regulatory filing.
The bank has been advised by Indian Banks' Association (IBA) that the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) has given a call for all-lndia strike by bank employees on September 26 and 27, 2019.
In the biggest consolidation exercise in the banking space, the government on August 30 announced four major mergers of PSBs, bringing down their total number to 12 from 19 in 2017, a move aimed at making state-owned lenders global-sized banks.
According to the consolidation exercise, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce are to be merged with Punjab National Bank, making the proposed entity the second largest public sector bank (PSB).
Syndicate Bank is to be merged with Canara Bank, while Allahabad Bank will be merged with Indian Bank. Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank will amalgamate with the Union Bank of India.
Earlier this year, Bank of Baroda merged Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with itself to become the second largest public sector lender.
SBI had merged five of its associate banks - State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Hyderabad and also Bhartiya Mahila effective April 2017.
(Inputs from PTI)