Money & Banking

Now, customers too voice concern over SBI, associate banks merger

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 17, 2018 Published on July 04, 2016

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Fear they will not get personalised service post merger

It is not as if the bank unions are alone in their fight for de-linking of associate banks from State Bank of India. A cross-section of customers of these associate banks has come forward to support the unions in their struggle.

A Ravi, Managing Partner of RSR Industries and a customer of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, told BusinessLine that a good number of MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) customers of the bank had initiated the process of moving their account to a smaller bank.

“I have been banking with SBBJ for over 20 years. I was shocked to learn that the bank would soon be merged with SBI and am sure I cannot expect the personalised service that the staff here extend, as SBI is an ocean,” he said. V Dinesh, a customer of State Bank of Travancore, asked: “Why should we suffer for a decision made by the managements of these banks?”

Asked to explain his contention, he said “many of us have established good relationship with the personnel in each of these banks; have certain level of comfort banking here. We cannot expect the same comfort when SBT becomes one with SBI.”

M Kailash said he used to bank with SBI before moving to SBT, and this was 23 years back. “The problem was “accessibility” to senior officials.

These MSME customers fear that they would be worst hit, post the merger. “How would it matter to us if SBI emerges a global bank? In what way would customers stand to benefit?” asked Rajesh, a customer of State Bank of Patiala.

Strike call

State Sector Bank Employees’ Association (SSBEA) has in the meanwhile called for an all-India strike by the 45,000-odd employees in the five associate banks on July 12 and 13.

Claiming that the associate banks are premier institutions in the respective States, with sizeable business, SSBEA General Secretary KS Krishna said: “Big banks will pose systemic risk, will tend to become insensitive to the needs of the common people.”

“Though they are subsidiary banks of SBI, they have grown with distinct local flavour and made significant contribution for the economic development of the respective States. The government on the one hand is clearing proposals for smaller banks/payment banks and, on the other, mooting mergers and acquisition,” Krishna said.

Published on July 04, 2016
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