Bank unions oppose mega mergers, to launch protests

By Sreenivasa Rao Dasari  Published on  31 Aug 2019 2:23 AM GMT
Bank unions oppose mega mergers, to launch protests

Hyderabad: The All India Bank Employees’ Association came down heavily on the NDA government on Friday soon after the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the mega-merger of 10 public-sector banks into four big entities.

CH Venkatachalam, AIBEA General Secretary, said, “In India, we don’t need megabanks and so mega-mergers. India is a vast country and lakhs of villagers don’t have a banking facility. Tomorrow, we’re going to have massive protest all over the country by bank employees, and we will fight against the latest decision of the NDA government.”

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Friday announced the mega-merger of 10 PSBs into four entities. Andhra Bank, Union Bank of India (UBI) and Corporation Bank will be one entity. After the massive PSB merger, India will have only 12 public-sector banks as against 27 earlier.

Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will be merged with Punjab National Bank. The merger would make PNB the second largest Public Second Bank with a total business volume of Rs. 17.5 lakh crore. The merger of Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank will make it a total business volume of Rs. 15.20 lakh crore and become the fourth largest PSB in the country. Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank will become one entity.

“AIBEA has further stated that India is a largely under-banked nation with a low density of banks. The merger of banks will further reduce branch network across the country. The merger will surely result in the closure of branches at a time when India needs an expansion of branch network,” Venkatachalam voiced his concern.

The latest decision of the banks’ merger will also divert the attention from non-performing assets (NPAs) and increasing bad debts burden in the domestic banking sector. United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) is planning to hold dharnas across the country to protest against the merger of banks.

AIBEA further stated that the number of banks in the US for a population of 323 million is much higher than India, which has 1.3 billion population.

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