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Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

HDFC Bank's arm, HDB Financial Services, sacks several staff during lockdown

A clutch of HDB’s sacked employees took to twitter about the treatment meted out to them and while some of them said the number could be as high as 5,000

HDB Financial Services Ltd, the non-banking financial company (NBFC) arm of private sector lender HDFC Bank has asked several employees across the country to quit during the ongoing covid-19 lockdown, according to employees who were told to leave.

A spokesperson for HDB Financial Services Ltd said in a statement on Sunday that it “involves a minuscule number of employees out of the total over 1 lakh and has nothing to do with the ongoing lockdown or the resulting economic situation".

“This is to clarify and set the record straight with respect to certain posts pertaining to our subsidiary HDB Financial Services in social media and a section of the press," the statement said. It added that this was an “attempt by handful of disgruntled employees to take advantage of the current situation," and the group takes “pride in being responsible employer and will do nothing to let that pride diminish".

Mint spoke to three such employees who have been asked to leave immediately between 5-8 May and another employee who is being asked to resign or be sacked. A clutch of HDB’s sacked employees took to Twitter about the treatment meted out to them. Mint could not independently verify the number of people asked to leave.

Interestingly, an earlier statement from the company had said, the information was “grossly incorrect" and “there have been no termination notices issued."

A 28-year-old operations executive from Noida said he received a call from his superior and from the human resources department on 7 May informing him that he need not come to office from the next day.

“I was in office when I received a call and that was the end of my employment. The HR told me that my performance was not satisfactory. However, I had four branches under me which were performing quite well. I was told that I would get two months of salary along with my full and final settlement," said the employee from Noida.

The lender offers secured and unsecured loans to customers and has more than 1,400 branches spread across 24 states and three union territories, according to its website.

The sudden state of unemployment amidst the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has put them in a spot. Another employee from Vadodara said that he and 14 other people of his branch were sacked on 8 May via a WhatsApp message on their internal group. “Now, I am sharing the list of employees who will not be a part of HDB Financial Services by tomorrow or today is the last day for them," said a message on the group in Vadodara. Mint has reviewed a copy of the screenshot. The employee from Vadodara was a senior sales executive at HDB and said the company attributed no reason to this decision.

“Where will I find a job now that everything is shut?" asked the senior sales executive quoted above.

As on 31 March, HDFC Bank held 95.3% stake in HDB Financial Services Ltd. It reported a consolidated net profit of 7,280 crore in the March quarter of FY20, up 15.5% on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis. The non-bank financier’s consolidated advances grew 20.1% to 1.04 trillion in Q4 FY20.

A 33-year-old employee from Lucknow said he was a senior sales manager and was an employee for over two years, till he was sacked on a phone call on 5 May.

“I was told it was a performance issue which I choose not to believe as I was promoted twice in the last two years. We were working from home during this lockdown and I got a call from my superior and HR who said I have lost my job. It was all so sudden that I did not get time to react and do not know where to look for a job," said the employee from Lucknow.

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