SBT union opposes proposed acquisition by SBI

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Thiruvananthapuram, May 18 (IANS) The employees of State Bank of Travancore (SBT), a subsidiary of the State Bank of India, on Wednesday expressed deep concern over the SBI’s move to merge five of its subsidiaries with itself.

The country’s largest bank on Tuesday decided to submit a proposal to the central government seeking an “in-principle approval” to initiate negotiations for the acquisition of its five associate banks — State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Patiala (SBP), State Bank of Travancore (SBT) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH).

Addressing reporters here, K.S. Krishna, general secretary of SBT Employees Union said: “For the past 70 years, SBT has been doing yeomen service to the people of Kerala and the biggest danger associated with this proposed acquisition of its five associate banks is that then the SBI will become a global player in banking and the customers of SBT will suffer.”

He said nearly 14,892 SBT staff are members of their union.

“There is going to be downsizing of the staff if this becomes a reality and even after close to five decades of bank nationalisation, there is a huge shortage of branches of banks across the country’s villages and things will be bad for the needs of the country’s rural population,” said Aniyan Mathew, president of the union.

The union however batted for these five associate banks coming under a single holding company.

“Already today our officials hold top positions at the various associate banks and if we work under the principle of a holding company, we can even join together under one name or stand independently as of now. This will help us to provide better services to our customers and there will be no competition amongst ourselves. But if we are to be acquired by SBI then it’s going to be a mammoth bank with more than 26,000 branches,” said another official of the union.

As the first major protest move, the State sector bank employees association AIBEA has decided to call a strike on Friday.

–IANS

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