Employees of private sector lender Bank of Rajasthan will go on a three-day strike starting from tomorrow to protest against the proposed merger of the bank with ICICI Bank even as the shareholders of both lenders would meet tomorrow to approve the merger.
The strike, as claimed by the employee unions, will have the support of over 4,000 BoR employees in 460 branches. It has come on the heels of a two-day strike by the employees early this month.
Unions allege that the proposed merger will destroy the identity of one of the oldest private sector banks in the country and will adversely impact the interests of BoR employees by resulting in job losses.
"The strike will be complete in all the branches of BoR and we have the support of all employees of the BoR. This merger is against the interests of BoR employees and will not benefit the BoR," All India Bank Employees Association Secretary Vishwas Utagi told PTI.
Last month, the Boards of both banks approved the merger of BoR with ICICI Bank in a all-stock deal and approved the share swap ratio at 1:4.72. Both entities will seek the necessary regulatory clearances once the shareholders approve the 1:4.72 swap ratio at their Extra Ordinary General Meetings scheduled tomorrow.
The merger is expected to further strengthen the branch network of ICICI Bank, which is already the largest amongst Indian private sector banks. ICICI Bank MD & CEO, Chanda Kochhar said the deal "is a win-win situation for the shareholders" but BoR promoter P K Tayal would not get a seat on the board of the resultant entity.
Under the share-swap ratio, the Tayal group will receive 1.88 crore ICICI Bank shares for their 8.88 crore BoR shares.
ICICI Bank's last acquisition was Maharashtra-based Sangli Bank in 2007. The last major acquisition in the country's private sector banking space was in 2008 when HDFC Bank acquired Centurion Bank of Punjab.
BoR has a total business of over Rs 23,000-crore, as against nearly Rs 3,84,000-crore of ICICI Bank. BoR's turnover was Rs 1,507-crore in 2008-09, while that of ICICI Bank in 2009-10 was over Rs 33,000-crore. Post merger, ICICI Bank's total business will cross Rs 4 lakh crore and its branch strength will be close to 2,500.