NEW DELHI : India's largest bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), which has over 22,000 branches spread all over the country, is among the least likely to be affected by today's bank strike.

Thousands of bank employees, under the umbrella of All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), are sitting on a 24-hour strike today to protest against a host of issues including merger of PSU banks.

Last week itself, SBI had told stock exchanges that since the membership of bank employees in the two protesting unions is very few, so the impact of strike on the bank's operation will be minimal.

A SBI union leader said they are not participating in the strike and services will be normal. Bank Employees Federation of India leader Joydeb Dasgupta also indicated that SBI staff might not be a part of the strike as they have offered only "moral support".

However, SBI branches where its employees are affiliated to either AIBEA or BEFI might sit outside their offices to participate in the strike. This might affect operations in some SBI branches.

The All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA) has also asked its members to not take part in clerical jobs today and support the strike call. SBI officers, who are members of the association, may take part in the strike.

Which banks are likely to be affected by the bank strike

Regional Rural Banks and cooperatives banks will also not participate in the strike as mergers do not affect them, PTI reported. A lot of private sector banks are also not likely to be affected as the impact will be felt mostly in PSU banks.

Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Syndicate Bank have indicated that their operations could be hit by bank strike.

"We expect good response from all PSU and private banks," Bank Employees Federation of India (State Federation) General Secretary Joydeb Dasgupta was quoted as saying by PTI.

"The bank is taking necessary steps for smooth functioning of branches on the proposed strike day. However, in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches/offices may be impacted," Syndicate Bank said. Other banks too gave out similar warnings.

Striking unions have also threatened also shut ATMs saying these are also under the strike ambit.

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