New Delhi: The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has raised its pitch against the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank by terming the move unwarranted and saying that it will lead to job cuts.
While noting that the move is not going to be beneficial to the country and the people at large, CH Venkatachalam, the association's general secretary, said, "The merger will also affect the interests of employees, their jobs and job security. The move would also affect employment opportunities in the banking industry."
The top representative said that at a time when villages were yet to receive banking services, consolidation of banks does not make sense. "There is a huge exclusion of people. Banks need to be expanded. No need for consolidation," he remarked.
Offering a counterpoint to the government's claim that the merger would make the banks stronger, Venkatachalam said, "There is no evidence to this conclusion. Last year, six banks were merged with SBI. But SBI (State Bank of India) has not become any bigger."
"After the merger of the six banks with SBI, the non-performing assets have further gone up to Rs 2.25 trillion. Hence, it is also a wrong presumption," he said.
According to the union leader, the merger of banks will lead to the closure of branches and job losses. He said that in going ahead with the merger, the government was trying to divert the attention from real issues and urged them to take tough measures to recover bad loans.
Claiming that the total NPA in Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank was Rs 800 billion, Venkatachalam sought to know if these bad loans would automatically be recovered if these banks were merged.
Opposing the merger of these three banks, nearly one million bank employees and officers would take part in the nation-wide strike on December 26, he said.