Bengaluru: Come April, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank will enter history books as the Bank of Baroda (BoB) has taken over both as per the Union Government’s decision to merge the three public sector banks.
For Vijaya Bank employees a watch or a pen with the Vijaya Bank man logo engraved on it will be cherished as a lasting souvenir. They claim they will find it hard to believe that there will be no Vijaya Bank man to ‘welcome’ them with his hand in pockets.
They are already feeling nostalgic about their bank brand logo and their association with it, which for many goes back to several years.
An employee of the bank said on condition of anonymity that the entire staff of Vijaya Bank had opposed the merger with BoB, and now they see an uncertain future.
Though Vijaya Bank was a small entity, it was like a family. Every employee knew his co-worker and there was a close bonding. It may not be the same after the merger, as there would be frequent transfers, he added.
The employee explained that quarter-on-quarter Vijaya Bank has been performing well and posting profits. It is the only bank which had announced dividends to its customers last year. But it is now being merged with the BoB, which has been incurring losses.
The Union Government has been propagating the idea that bank mergers would improve the economy. But what is the logic in merging a profit making bank with a loss-making one?, he wondered.
The employees also point out that as per the wage revision norm agreed upon by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) and trade unions, 50 per cent will be performance linked. When banks like Vijaya and Dena are merged with a loss making BoB, their salaries will suffer. Employees of both the banks foresee pay cuts.
They see the current wave of mergers among public sector banks as detrimental to banking sector. They point out that they are already hearing unpleasant stories from the employees of State Bank of India and allied banks, which underwent a merger in 2017.