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Back to basics: private bankers want PSU jobs

In the wake of widespread job reductions and cost cutting in the private sector, junior to mid-level bankers employed with private banks are increasingly showing a desire to switch to the public sector, reports Mahua Venkatesh.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2008 20:20 IST
Mahua Venkatesh

In cricket, they would have called it a reverse swing. What was unthinkable a couple of years ago is happening now in the world of banking.

In the wake of widespread job reductions and cost cutting in the private sector, junior to mid-level bankers employed with private banks are increasingly showing a desire to switch to the public sector, despite lower pay packets and incentives, say industry sources.

From all indications, stability is what they are looking for at this critical juncture, in addition to medical aid, retirement benefits and housing support.

State-owned banks recruit about 200 employees annually at various entry and mid levels. However, those at the level of general managers and above are not recruited from outside. “We have received many more applications this year from the private sector,” a source at a Mumbai-based state-run bank said, adding that employees were willing to forego fat private sector pay packets in lieu of stability.

A high-level source in a North-based PSU bank confirmed the trend.

A Central Bank of India source told HT that his bank planned to release advertisements to recruit junior and mid-level executives and expected what he called an "overwhelming" response from private sector candidates.

A senior private bank executive said there was no guarantee that small and mid-sized banks would weather the current crisis.

“I am looking for a government job because it is safe and that is most critical at this stage. Salaries should come regularly, it doesn’t matter how much one is getting,” said an assistant vice-president at a mid-sized private bank.

“Though at present, everything seems to be going fine, there is a high degree of apprehension and no body knows what the future would look like,” a vice president at a well known foreign bank told Hindustan Times.