Strike over, SBI out to woo back customers
SERPENTINE QUEUES at various branches of State Bank of India (SBI) in the City reflected how badly customers missed services of the world?s largest bank during its six-day strike that ended on Sunday.india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 13:54 IST
SERPENTINE QUEUES at various branches of State Bank of India (SBI) in the City reflected how badly customers missed services of the world’s largest bank during its six-day strike that ended on Sunday.
Right from the Local Head Office to the smallest branch, the thrust was to make good of the loss in business and goodwill the bank suffered due to the strike. Simultaneously, extra care was taken so that no customer left any SBI branch without being attended to.
The bank began operations from 8.30 am and employees worked beyond their normal duty hours. SBI’s chief general manager S Bhattacharya personally visited almost all the branches in the City in the first hour of the day, giving instruction that none of the customers should leave bank premises without their needs being attended to.
SBI’s TT Nagar branch – one of the largest and premium branches in the country having two ATMs and a daily business of Rs 500 crore odd— began its day at 8.30 am.
“My staff was determined that no customer went back today and decided to work till late hours,” said assistant general manager of the branch VN Chaturvedi.
He said as a precautionary measure, a day before the strike began on April 2, the branch dealt with salaries and pension payments and fed the ATMs with sufficient cash. “We deposited outstation cheques of April 3, a day in advance,” he added.
Meanwhile, SBI got down on a war-footing operation to replenish all its ATMs across Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Several customers were surprised with the bank’s proactive approach today and the way customers were handled despite increased pressure.
Special instructions were given to branches dealing with Government transactions to complete the job today itself. According to SBI sources, the Vallabh Bhawan branch made payments to 787 customers to the tune of Rs 44 lakh. The clearing-houses handled by the SBI in both States have gained normalcy. The TT Nagar branch made payments to the tune of Rs two crore and had receipts worth Rs 50 lakh.
Although during the strike period, the State Government had authorised few branches of eight other nationalised banks to carry Government transactions as a temporary arrangement, the wide spread belief in the banking sector was that it would not have been an easy task after all.
“There are several places where State Government has treasuries and SBI is the only bank to have its branches over there. So, without SBI functioning in these areas it would have become really difficult,” an official said, citing the example of Silwan, a small place in Madhya Pradesh.
Bank to remain open today
In a late night decision, the State Bank of India announced that all its branches in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh would remain open on April 11 in spite of Mahavir Jayanti and Milad-un-Nabi festivals.
Business at few SBI branches
1 TT NAGAR: Payments Rs 2 crore & Receipts Rs 50 lakh.
2 SULTANIA ROAD: Payments Rs 5 crore plus & Receipts Rs 1.25 crore.
3 VALLABH BHAWAN: Payments Rs 44 lakh.
(Based on information received till filing of the report. Figures likely to increase, as branch continued working)