Left out of loop on bank mergers

New Delhi, Nov 18 | Updated: Nov 19 2005, 05:46am hrs
Trade unions have come out strongly against bank consolidation, saying that no talks have been held with them on the matter at an apex level. Senior union members said that the government has only held talks with some members of unions. It may be noted that the government had earlier indicated that talks have been held with trade unions in the banking sector and a consensus was being drawn up.

Such decisions should be taken at an all-India level. We have not been officially involved in the process and we have not moved from our stand on the issue of consolidation, CH Venkatachalam, secretary, All India Bank Employees Association, told FE.

Mr Venkatachalam added that the trade unions would not allow any kind of merger in the banking sector. In fact, the unions may intensify their agitation in case there is any move to merge entities.

The unions have re-iterated that the exercise may lead to large scale retrenchment though the finance ministry has assured that all jobs would be protected.

Meanwhile, the issue of consolidation is likely to be discussed in the meeting on Friday between finance minister P Chidambaram and heads of the public sector banks.