SBT union wants Sebi, RBI to stop merger with SBI

State Bank of Travancore Employees Union (SBTEU) has urged the Centre not to go ahead with the decision to merge SBT and other associate banks with SBI and also wants the RBI and market regulator Sebi to intervene in the matter.

The draft scheme of acquisition is being brought as a table agenda without going through the process of negotiations with all stakeholders, the union pointed out adding that one senior official was even transferred for pointing out the irregularities.

SBI management has also announced closure or relocation of 7,000 branches of SBT with the merger, the union pointed out.

The union has support from the Kerala government and stake holders as well as the people of Kerala who consider SBT as the state's own bank.

The government and the SBI should desist from the merger move, taking into consideration the views of the people, Kerala Assembly, MPs from the state and stakeholders, including customers and shareholders, the union said in a statement on Monday.

"It is high time RBI and Sebi intervene to stop the process," the statement said.

The union also decided to intensify its agitation with a relay hunger strike in September last week at Delhi, Raj Bhavan march in October and Parliament Maha dhara in November.

In a resolution adopted at the end of the two-day general council of the union at Malappuram on Sunday, the union pointed out that despite public opinion against the merger, SBI management was trying to rush with the process violating all norms and the due processes of law and the rules of transparency and good governance practices.

SBI management has announced that close to 7,000 branches of SBI would be shut or relocated with merger, the resolution stated.

"In their eagerness to create a global bank, national priorities and mass banking will be altered, adversely affecting small customers and the productive sector," it said.

The union pointed out that "such a vital issue concerning the future of the bank was brought out as a table agenda on May 17 in the board meeting without providing any data, detail and thus not allowing any study and analysis by the directors for making any independent application of mind".

The draft scheme of acquisition was again brought out as a table agenda on 18 August.

Though the process needed negotiations with all stakeholders, it was not held.

For questioning deviations from rules, a chief general manager of the bank was transferred out of the bank, the union general secretary alleged.

The union said it would also organise a hunger strike at all district centres on 12 September, the SBT foundation day and organise a peoples assembly at the martyr's column on 6 September.