BENGALURU: Even as the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with is to be effective April 1, 2019, a petition filed by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation and All India Vijaya Bank Officers’ Association in the Delhi High Court, claimed that it affected the fundamental rights of a large number of employees.
Recently, a notice was issued to the finance ministry, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, by a bench led by Justice S Raveendra Bhat. The case will be next heard on February 13.The associations allege that the government approved the merger without consulting the RBI and without participation from the bank employees.
An officer of the bank with over 15 years of experience says, “From the banking perspective, it may be a positive move, though it is too soon to predict that. News of the merger came as a bolt from the blue. The NPAs will probably be reduced if the banks merge, but what has to be understood is that all these banks are culturally different. There are chances of the bigger bank, Bank of Baroda, dominating all matters. As a bank performing well, we thought we would take smaller banks under us, but something totally unexpected has happened.”
Prakash Rao, general secretary, All India Vijaya Bank Officers’ Association, said, “Vijaya Bank has consistently been a profit-making bank. Suddenly merging it with Dena Bank, which is in a mess, and Bank of Baroda will create many problems. We are disappointed with this move. It will dampen the morale of the employees.”
Soumya Dutta, national general
secretary, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, adds, “The need of the hour is creation of more public sector banks to carry out ambitious projects of the government, like financial inclusion and agricultural loans, instead of merging three banks. Wilful defaulters and economic offenders should be published. Even if 20% of recovery is done, all PSBs will be in good shape.”