Nationwide strike may disrupt banking operations today, SBI branches likely to remain open

Nationwide strike may disrupt banking operations today, SBI branches likely to remain open

Operations at state-owned banks across the country are likely to be affected on Tuesday as employees of two bank unions are sitting on a day-long strike to protest against the government’s bank merger plan and falling deposit rates.

Several PSU banks like Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Syndicate Bank have warned of disruptions in banking operations throughout the day.

Not just banking operations but the two bank employees’ union leaders have also threatened to shut ATMs for the day. However, it is unlikely that ATM services will be affected significantly due to the strike.

However, The State Bank of India (SBI) informed customers that the impact of the strike will be minimal. “The membership of our bank employees in unions participating in strike is very few, so the impact of strike on Bank’s operation will be minimal,” SBI said in a filing to stock exchanges last week.

Customers should also note that officers and private sector banks are also not part of the 24-hour strike called by All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).

In Mumbai and Haryana, banking operations have been closed for two consecutive days as banks were closed on October 20 (Sunday) and October 21 due to assembly elections. Tuesday’s strike will lead to further disruption in the two states as a number of bank branches may remain shut today.

The employees of the banking unions are protesting against the prospect of merging 10 PSU banks into four stronger units.

Under the plan, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce are to be merged with Punjab National bank.

Syndicate Bank is to be merged with Canara Bank and Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank. Andhra Bank and Cooperation Bank will be merged with the Union Bank of India.

Individuals should also prepare for another long bank recess from October 26-29 on account of various festivals. Banks will remain closed on Sunday (October 27), Monday (October 28) due to Govardhan Puja and on Tuesday (October 28) for Bhai Dooj.