Union Bank To Fully Automate All 500 Branches By March 04

Hyderabad, Sept 18: | Updated: Sep 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to offer any-time-any-where banking facility to its customers, the Union Bank of India (UBI) has targeted to fully automate its 500 branches by end of March 2004, according to Mr V Leeladhar Chairman & Managing Director of the bank. For the first time both the IT giants Infosys and Wipro are working together in the project to implement core banking solutions in these branches, Mr Leeladhar told the media here on Thursday.

The bank has already installed the switch enabling the bank to complete online connectivity among the 250 branches by end of December in the current year, he added. Mr Leeladhar said that the bank has installed ATMs in 125 branches and initiated work to double the number by end of December 2003. The bank has entered into an alliance with eight public sector banks to bring 1,000 ATMs, giving additional access facility to its customers.

Mr Leeladhar is in Hyderabad in connection with the tie-up arrangement with Ford India to offer finance facility to buy Ford cars. As per the agreement UBI is offering 90 per cent finance at a concessional rate of interest at 10.5 per cent for a maximum period of seven years.

On the human resources front, the banks chairman said that it will review the HR policy to ascertain the possible surplus staff only after completion of the computerisation, however he ruled out any VRS in the next two year. We will review the situation only after two years, by which time the computerisation programme is expected to be completed, he said.

About two years ago the bank had offered VRS which was opted by about 4,000 staff bringing the staff strength to 27,000. Mr Leeladhar further said that the bank would like to redeploy its surplus staff from regular banking functions to marketing of financial products.

The bank has already redeployed about 400 officers for various marketing jobs. The bank is marketing the life insurance product offered by HDFC Standard Life and for non-life products it sells the policies of New India Assurance Company. Besides it also markets mutual fund products offered by DSP Merrill Linch, HDFC Mutual Fund and Birla Sun besides it has commenced bullion business, he added.