#BharatBandh: How banking services will get affected
With the two-day nationwide general strike having commenced, banking services across India could be affected as a significant chunk of government bank employees have joined in on the strike. Participating in the strike are members of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI). Here's how their participation will affect banking services.
Earlier, the Bank of Baroda (BoB) had issued a statement taking cognizance of the strike, and had warned customers that the "functioning of [the] bank's branches/offices in some of the zones may be affected." Allahabad Bank and IDBI Bank, too, had issued similar statements taking cognizance of the strike in stock exchange filings on Monday.
It's understood that except for the State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of India, and private sector banks, all other state-run banks might remain partially or fully closed for the duration of the strike. Even if some state-run banks are open, a number of branches of several state-owned banks are expected to remain shut as many employees are protesting outside bank offices.
Despite the strike being called by Central trade unions that have a hold on Central and state government employees, some private banks also fear that their services might be disrupted. They are afraid that their employees might partake in the strike, considering that bank strikes held in December 2018 had seen massive participation, with as many as 10 lakh bank employees participating.
Given the expected disruption from the strike, this week will see banks remain fully open on just three days - Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Since Saturday, January 12, is the second Saturday of the month, banks will be closed.
However, since only two bank unions among nine major ones are participating in the strike, disruptions might not be overwhelming. Earlier, on December 26, all nine bank unions, under the aegis of the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), called a strike to protest against the merger of Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank, and Bank of Baroda. 10 lakh bank employees, including those from the private sector, participated.