Money & Banking

Union Bank of India to rationalise 950 branches soon

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on February 08, 2021 Published on February 08, 2021

Union Bank of India plansto rationalise about 950 of its branches soon. “As per the consultant’s report, the bank has targeted to rationalise about 950 branches in the first year of amalgamation of Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank with itself,” a senior Union Bank official told BusinessLine.

Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank were amalgamated with Union Bank with effect from April 1, 2020. The government, in August 2019, had announced the merger of 10 public sector lenders into four bigger and stronger banks.

“The real benefits of amalgamation will only be derived if rationalisation of branches happens,” the official added.

The close proximity of branches of erstwhile Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank and Union Bank, besides optimisation of operational costs and the need to avoid business overlap are among the factors that are driving rationalisation plan.

Union Bank now has over 9500 domestic branches and 13,300 ATMs with 75,000 employees.

Meanwhile, the bank is struggling with delay in integration of Andhra Bank’s operations, even 10 months after the amalgamation.

In many branches, customers are not being allowed to deposit cheques for clearance. “In the last 10 days I went two times to deposit a ₹60,000-cheque in my account and it was not accepted citing integration problems,” M Karunakar, a customer of Andhra Bank, told BusinessLine.

Similarly, erstwhile Andhra Bank’s ATMs are non-functional in many locations, which is forcing customers to withdraw from the ATMs of other banksby paying additional charges.

At some branches, notices have also been displayed stating that there was disruption due to the integration of operations.

“It is true that there has been a disruption. But we are working round-the-clock and, as of now, 65 per cent of erstwhile Andhra Bank’s ATMs are functional,” said the Union Bank official.

The clearing of cheques will also reach normacly in about a week to 10 days, he added.

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Published on February 08, 2021
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