Tuesday, February 21, 2017

State Bank of India website goes generic New web address is www.bank.sbi

Chennai, February 20 (IANS): The State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday announced rebranding of its website as bank.sbi. According SBI, the new domain name bank.sbi is the highest domain protocol known as generic top level domain (gTLD), an official statement.

"The SBI group has several businesses. For those wanting to do banking or want to know about the bank it is easier to type out www.bank.sbi." M.K. Rekhi, General Manager -Social Media.

The SBI group having presence in insurance, mutual fund and card may also go for such Generic top-level domain (gTLD). With this, SBI has become the first banking organisation in India to use a gTLD for its online presence and providing an exclusive experience of assurance and security to its customers.

"SBI being the largest bank has always been the pioneer in adapting new technology. SBI has always believed in providing high-tech yet secure internet experience to its customers. Bank's own gTLD is another step in this direction," SBI's Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said in a statement.

Bank's own gTLD aims at simplifying the digital experience of customers and brings in enhanced security against phishing and lookalike websites. Due to its non-replicability, a gTLD site like ".sbi" conveys an assurance to the customer that the site is authorised, genuine and is not an inappropriate or phishing site.

The existing site of sbi.co.in will continue till customers get used to the new avtar of SBI's secure website.

Monday, February 20, 2017

SBI Group finalises plans for voluntary retirement scheme

Mumbai, February 19:  With State Bank of India (SBI) in the last lap of merging five associate banks with itself, SBI Group has finalised plans to launch a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) which could lead to a lower headcount in the number of employees from the total employee base of 73,000 in the associate banks.

The Union Cabinet had last week cleared the merger of five associate banks — State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT) — with SBI. While SBI is yet to provide details of the branch rationalisation plan, an official of SBT has claimed that the merger plan could lead to closure of SBT’s 30 per cent of branches. While the five associate banks have 6,717 branches, SBT has 1,117 branches. “We have information that 204 branches have been identified in Kerala and 59 in Tamil Nadu,” an official said.

In a statement last week, SBI said, “The merger will result in creation of a stronger entity. This will minimise vulnerability to any geographic concentration risks faced by associate banks. This merger is an important step towards strengthening the banking sector.” A formal notification in this regard is awaited from the government wherein the effective date of merger will be indicated, SBI said.

The five associate banks have a total deposit base of over Rs 5 lakh crore and 8,964 ATMs across India.

The boards of associate banks have already approved the VRS plan, but they are yet to notify the number of employees eligible for the VRS, said an SBI official. “In view of the impending acquisition, your bank may consider implementing a VRS for employees as an employment-friendly initiative. The scheme would provide a good opportunity to employees who may genuinely want to retire voluntarily on account of the uncertainties related to possible relocation of job profile post acquisition,” SBI said in a letter to the MD of State Bank of Travancore.

The VRS scheme is open to those staffers who have put in 20 years or have completed 55 years as on September 30, 2016. It has offered ex-gratia amounting to 50 per cent of salary for residual period of service subject to a maximum of 30 months salary.

However, bank unions have said “closure of associate banks by mergers is unwarranted as these banks are in existence for very long in various states” and they have “sound financial fundamentals, commendable financial ratios, well-established branches and serving the people at large in rural, semi-urban and urban centres”. “Associate banks are premier banks in the respective states with sizeable market share and credit deployment to productive sectors. They are immensely financing agriculture, micro-small-medium-large industry, trade, service sectors at the regions and states,” said K S Krishna, general secretary, State Sector Bank Employees’ Association.

He said associate banks have been forced to give excessive provisions for the reason that those loan accounts with the associate banks — even though are standard assets — may be considered as NPA if the same group’s account with SBI is NPA. “When the associate banks made a net profit of Rs 1,700 crore in the half year of FY16, now the banks have been forced to show a loss of Rs 5,100 crore in FY17 half year. The operating profit has risen from Rs 5,000 crore in FY16 to Rs 5,600 crore in FY 17. With the announcement of merger, work in the associate banks has come to a standstill,” Krishna said.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Bank unions call for strike on February 28

‘Banks incurred huge costs incurred on
demonetisation, Jan Dhan & Aadhaar’

Coimbatore, February 7:  The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has given a call to its members to strike work on February 28.

The strike call, according to Thomas Franco, UFBU Convener and Senior Vice-President of the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), is to voice their displeasure over the government’s indifference to their issues, which they contend “have accumulated and remain unaddressed.”

Alleging the government of remaining deaf to their plea even while they had stood by the government on different issues — be it handling the pain of demonetisation, implementing government schemes or opening Jan-Dhan accounts — the UFBU, represented by nine trade unions, said that “the government’s indifference had forced the employees and officers of various banks to take this extreme step.”

“We are on a war path after demonetisation,” he said, sharing a copy of the union’s 12-point charter of demands.

Demanding compensation for the losses due to Jan Dhan and demonetisation, Franco said banks incurred huge costs on account of opening 25 crore Jan-Dhan accounts, linking Aadhaar and providing RuPay cards.

“Demonetisation further added to the expenditure in various ways such as towards transit of withdrawn currency, security, disruption in regular banking activities and so on.”

Much of the issues were oft-repeated ones such as the demand to halt privatisation of public sector banks; amendment to the Gratuity Act so as to make gratuity uniform for all (Central government employees and those in the banking sector); appointment of employee director and officer director in public sector banks; recruitment; recoveries from wilful defaulters; and a stop to outsourcing of core banking business.

The UFBU Convener also insisted on the need for initiating immediate discussion on wage revision.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

11th bipartite settlement – Charter of Demand for wage revision 2017 : unofficial

Although there is no formal news about the initiation of negotiations for next wage revision, 
the following charter of demand for 11th bipartite settlement is being circulated on whatsapp 
and emails and has been shared some whatsapp groups of employee unions. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bank Staffs Salary reduced by decrease of DA @ 0.90% from February 2017

Dearness Allowance now reduced by 0.90%
(Decrease of 9 slabs) from February 2017

Revised DA rate is @ 46.90%, from Feb-17 to April-17
The DA for November 2016 to January 2017 was 47.80%

Dearness Allowance for pensioners from
February-2017 to July-2017 is increased