SBI should look at VRS post merger of associate banks: AIBEA

Chennai, Feb 24 (IANS) The State Bank of India should come with a voluntary retirement scheme after considering the overall staffing picture after merger of five associate banks instead of the five announcing such a scheme before the merger, said the leader of a major bank union.

“The five associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) will soon come out with a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) as their boards have approved the a scheme. The scheme will be introduced and closed before April 1, 2017, the day on which the merger takes into effect,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H.Venkatachalam told IANS here on Friday.

According to him, launching a VRS for the employees of the five associate banks alone is not fair as those who do not opt for retirement and land in the SBI may feel disadvantaged psychologically from day one of the merger.

Venkatachalam said branch and staff rationalisation could be look at by the SBI post merger after taking into account an overall view of the operations.

On Thursday, the SBI in a regulatory filing in BSE said: “We advise that the Government of India has issued the orders …under subsection of Section 35 of the State Bank of India Act, 1955… In terms of the said orders, the entire undertaking of SBBJ (State Bank of Bikaner &Jaipur), SBM (State Bank of Mysore), SBT (State Bank of Travancore), SBP (State Bank of Patiala) and SBH (State Bank of Hyderabad) shall stand transferred to and vested in the State Bank of India from April 1, 2017.”

The cabinet approved acquisition of associate banks by SBI on February 15.

According to Venkatachalam, those employees (clerks and officers) who have put in 20 years of service or have completed 55 years of age may be made eligible to opt for VRS.

He said the VRS will be open for 15 days from the date of announcement and employees have to exercise their option within that time limit.

The VRS quantum may be 50 per cent of the salary for the remaining period of service subject to a maximum of 30 months salary.

Venkatachalam said the bank may restrict the number of employees opting for VRS depending on the staffing needs.