Banks to be shut for three days from today

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 19 Februari 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Banking services will be hit on Wednesday and Thursday because of a nationwide strike called by trade unions. It is a three-day disruption for Maharashtra, which is observing Tuesday as a bank holiday on account of ChhatrapatiShivajiJayanti.

Bank unions have claimed that 10 lakh bank employees will be striking work in nearly 90,000 bank branches. Anticipating the strike, State Bank of India announced extended working hours on Monday to make up for some of the inconvenience that would be caused because of the strike.

Most of the bank unions are supporting the strike call by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) consisting of nine national-level unions including AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW and AIBOC in support of their demand.

For customers, some of the strike impact would be blunted by the availability of automated teller machines (ATMs) and internet banking. However, branches of public sector banks are expected to be non-functional and cheque clearing activity will be hit. "All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) is participating in this strike with full strength to resist the Central government's policy of privatizing public sector banks and allowing more bank licences to corporate houses in India who are primarily responsible for the huge Rs 5-lakh-crore non-performing bad loans in Indian banks," AIBEA said in a statement.

Industry associations said that the two-day national strike by trade unions on February 20 and 21 is likely to cause a "a substantial loss" to the Indian economy.

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