Bank strike, elections to affect banking operations; only 3 working days this week

Banks will remain open only for three days this week in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana, due to ongoing Assembly elections and a proposed strike on October 22. In other states, operations will be hit only on the day of the strike.

Banking services may be hit on October 22 as the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) have warned of a day-long strike. The unions informed the Indian Banks’ Association of the proposed strike via a notice.

The move by the two employee unions is largely a protest against the recent mergers of 10 public sector banks (PSBs)and the dipping rates on deposits, they said a joint statement. Other demands include recovery of bad loans, stringent action on defaulters charges and job security.

Several state-run banks like the Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Syndicate Bank and the Oriental Bank of Commerce have said that the proposed strike may impact their operations.

Bank of Baroda, in a filing with the exchanges, said, “The Bank is taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of bank’s branches on the day of the strike, in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches may be affected/paralysed.”

However, State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, has said that the strike is expected to have minimal impact on its operations as the participation of its employees in the protesting unions is very low.