Banking operations partially hit as unions protest SBI meddling in associate banks

Banking operations across the country remained partially affected today by a strike called by a section of public sector bank employees who were protesting State Bank of India's alleged violation of bilateral settlement by its associate banks.

The strike affected cash handling at branch level and clearing of cheques in the banks where the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) has a strong presence.

Private sector banks and the country's largest lender, SBI continued to function normally.

The strike, originally planned for 28 December, is in protest against violation of the bilateral settlement by five associate banks of the SBI and their attempt to force unilateral service conditions on the employees, AIBEA general secretary C H Venkatachalam had said earlier.

SBI is looking to merge its five subsidiaries - State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur – with itself to emerge a global-scale lender.

Most banks had issued an advisory to their customers saying they will take all necessary steps in terms of existing guidelines for smooth functioning of branches or offices on the day of strike, in the event it materialises.