Delegation seeks Mamata’s support against bank merger

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

A delegation of the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday and voiced their concerns against the Centre’s plan to merge 10 public sector banks into four. They also sought the chief minister’s intervention in this regard.

Speaking to DH, AIBOC General Secretary Soumya Datta said that the chief minister has expressed full support to their movement.

“The Chief Minister told us that she has full support for our movement. She described the proposed merger as ‘unethical’ and said she is also raising her voice in protest against it,” said Datta.

AIBOC leadership argued that the impact of the proposed merger will be disastrous for the state's economy as two out of the 10 public sector banks — United Bank of India and Allahabad Bank — are headquartered in Kolkata. They added that after the proposed merger, West Bengal will be left with only the UCO Bank which is headquartered in Kolkata.

"Such development will definitely not augur well for West Bengal economy...” stated Datta. AIBOC represents more than 3.20 lakh bank officers.

Referring to the closure of 80 branches in West Bengal following the recent merger of the Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with State Bank of India, he said that the proposed merger may lead to similar closure of branches in the state.

The memorandum submitted to the chief minister said that they are apprehensive about West Bengal government not being consulted regarding the merger, and sought the attention of the chief minister "to ensure that the draconian and retrograde decision" is rescinded and "to lead a movement to halt the entire process of the merger".

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