Bank employees stage protest against Centre's decision to merge PSU banks
Members of the All India Bank Employees' Association on Saturday staged a protest here against the Centre's decision to merge 10 public sector banks into four entities.
Employees of all public and private sector banks wore black badges to work as a mark of protest to the government's decision.
The Association's General Secretary, C H Venkatachalam said the government's move was "ill timed" and needs a review. A rally opposing it was also planned by the Association, Venkatachalam told PTI.
He alleged the merger of public sector banks would mean closure of six banks. The BJP government at the Centre had on Friday unveiled a mega plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four, to create fewer and stronger global-sized bankers as it looks to revive economic growth from a five-year low.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had last week announced tax sops and measures for sectors such as auto, announced four new set of mergers - Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will combine to form the nation's second-largest lender; Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank will merge; Union Bank of India will amalgamate with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank; and Indian Bank will merge with Allahabad Bank.
The exercise, seen together with the previous two rounds of bank consolidation, will bring down the number of nationalised public sector banks to 12 from 27 in 2017. This, the government feels, will make bank balance sheet stronger with greater capacity to lend.
"Government may call it a merger.. six banks which have been built up over the years will disappear from banking scenario", Venkatachalam said.
He recalled that when the financial recession was experienced world over in 2008, the domestic banking system was safe because of public sector banks.
On further course of action, he said the Union would meet in New Delhi on September 11 to decide on going on strike.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)