Bankers in the public sector and old private sector banks have some good news, with the Indian Banks’ Association and the unions agreeing to a 17 per cent annual increase in salary and allowances.

This increase is higher than the 15 per cent agreed in the last (11th) bipartite wage settlement.

The Association will also take up action with the Government the possibility of declaring all Saturdays as holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act.

The terms of the 12th bipartite wage settlement will be effective from November 1, 2022, for five years.

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“Annual increase in salary and allowances is agreed at 17 per cent of the annual pay slip expenses for FY2021-22, which works out to Rs 12,449 crore for all public sector banks (PSBs), including State Bank of India,” an MoU between the IBA and bank unions said.

As a one-time measure applicable to the current bipartite/ joint note period, a monthly ex-gratia amount will be considered along with pension for PSB pensioners and family pensioners, who were drawing pension as on October 31, 2022.

Businessline had earlier reported that bankers are confident that their proposal should be ratified by the department of finance soon.

“Bank employees are anyway working only for two Saturdays in a month. Why should government have problem in approving this (five day work week)”, official sources said.

With over 70 per cent of daily cash related transaction taking place, the industry is of the view that the need for six-day banking on select weeks isn’t very compelling. “Today branches operate more as customer redressal or facilitation centres. More than 80 per cent of banking transactions, including account opening are being done digitally. Except for taking some sign offs on certain agreements which would require the signature customers, there isn’t much need to walk into branches these days,” said a senior executive of a private bank.

At present bank branches function on the first, third and fifth Saturdays of a month. The second and fourth Saturdays are holidays. However, until 2015, banks were operational six days a week, including all Saturdays of a month.

( With inputs from Delhi Bureau)