Though the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured the bank unions last week that the mega-merger of 10 public sector banks into four entities will not lead to job losses, however, it appears that the sector will see an impact on fresh hiring.
The Centre had announced last week that Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, the Union Bank of India, Indian Bank, the United Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank, the Oriental Bank of Commerce and Andhra Bank would be merged to create four big lenders — Punjab National Bank (PNB), Canara Bank, the Union Bank of India and Indian Bank.
As per the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IPBS) data, these banks have been major recruiters over the years, which will change now given the fact that reduction in fresh recruitment is almost the natural consequence of any merger.
As rationalization of branches and staff happens to optimize resources, banking officials on the condition of anonymity told Business Line that recruitment notifications expected to come up this year may feature fewer openings.
As per IBPS, already over the years, there has been a steady decline in recruitment conducted by the institute for its member-banks. As per data from the firm, the number of clerical vacancies dropped down to 7,275 last year from 19,243 in 2016, while the number of probationary officer posts dropped to 4,336 this year from 16,722 in 2016.
It is expected that the hiring of clerks is more likely to be impacted as so far no notification has come up. It is also believed that as a majority of applicants for bank jobs in the country are engineering graduates, the move is also likely to impact the overall job market scenario.
Globally as well as in India, job losses after mergers is no news. Early this year, the prospective merger of Deutsche Bank and smaller rival Commerzbank is speculated to have a huge impact on the German banking industry and also put 30,000 jobs at risk. Moreover, as banks move towards optimizing manpower by leveraging data and technology, hiring will see likely tapering. Even though the Finance Minister assured there will no job loss due to the merger, but the fact remains that rationalization of resources is a natural outcome of any merger and new job creation does get hit in the process.
Image source: Business Standard