Money & Banking

2,800 employees of SBI’s associate banks opt for VRS

OUR BUREAU Mumbai | Updated on January 27, 2018

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, SBI, flanked by Rajnish Kumar (right),MD, and B Sriram, MD, at a press conference in Mumbai. PAUL NORONHA

Scheme open till April 5; 12,500 employees are eligible, says bank chief

About 2,800 employees of the erstwhile associate banks of State Bank of India have opted for voluntary retirement so far, according to SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.

Around 12,500 employees (out of the total associate banks’ employee strength of about 70,000) are eligible for opting for the voluntary retirement scheme, which was announced in the run-up to the merger of the five associate banks with State Bank of India.

“Employees who have opted for VRS at present are around 2,800. And definitely, we will look at their application and if it falls within the norms we will give them VRS,” said Bhattacharya.

The five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, and State Bank of Travancore — have come out with a golden handshake scheme to provide ‘a good opportunity to employees who may genuinely want to retire voluntarily on account of uncertainties related to possible relocation and change of job profile, post-acquisition’.

Eligiblity for scheme

The VRS is open to all permanent award staff and officers of the bank, except those specifically mentioned as ‘ineligible’, who have put in 20 years of service or have completed 55 years of age as on November 30, 2016. The scheme closes on April 5.

Bhattacharya said: “Last time when we had done the merger, we saw that there were a few people who wanted to opt out. And, therefore, this time we wanted to give this channel for people who really feel that they would rather do something different.

“There is no force in the matter at all. It is totally their call. And if they have taken it then we fully respect it.”

“We don’t have any discretion in the matter. If people apply and they are eligible, then we will have to let them go,” she said.

To a specific question on whether SBI employees will be offered VRS, the SBI chief said: “At this point no. Going forward, we will see.”

Transfer of staff

Bhattacharya observed that SBI had opened a portal in which employees can give options regarding transfers.

“We had almost 150 people opting to go to the North-East, which is great for us because that is an area where we would like to put more people into.

“Almost 15,000 people from among associate banks have given their transfer options and it will be our endeavour to try and ensure that we are able to keep those requests. We will do it to the extent possible,” she said.

The SBI chief emphasised that there will neither be any movement for the sake of movement nor for throwing the weight around of the parent organisation. Whatever movements are going to occur, will take place in a very systematic and well-thought-out manner.

“We are also trying to take this chance of trying to honour transfer requests from our own employees also. So, we are doing a kind of a clearing house for our own employees also,” she added.

Published on April 03, 2017

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