Home / Industry / Banking /  2-day bank strike: Banking services to be hit as 10 lakh employees join protest

As employees of various public sector banks have gone on strike today (March 15), over the Centre’s decision to privatise two state-owned lenders, banking operations including cheque clearance across the country got affected. UFBU, an umbrella body of nine unions, had given a strike call for March 15 and 16 and claimed that about 10 lakh bank employees and officers of the banks will participate in the strike. Banks were already closed on March 13 (second Saturday) and March 14 (Sunday).

Which banking services will be affected?

According to All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam, services at branch level; cheque clearance; and government transactions have been affected. Besides, money markets and stock markets are also going to face problems as payments would be impacted, he said, news agency PTI reported.

Banking services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals would be affected due to the strike. However, ATMs are likely to remain functional.

SBI banking services likely to be hit

Many public sector lenders, including the State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank have informed their customers that their normal working could be affected at the branches and offices due to the strike. Banks have also informed that they are taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of bank branches and offices.

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Private sector banks' services

However, branches of private-sector lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank are open as they are not part of the strike.

Who has called the nationwide bank strike?

The United Forum of Bank Union (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine bank unions, has called for a two-day nationwide strike on March 15 and 16 against the privatisation of Public Sector Banks and retrograde banking reforms.

Over 10 lakh bank employees and officers will participate in the strike, news agency ANI reports.

Who all are participating in the strike?

All nine banks unions - All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers' Congress (INBOC) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO) and the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) will take part in the strike called by the UFBU.

Privatisation of 2 PSBs

In the Union Budget presented last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government's disinvestment plan. The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019, and has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years.

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