Bank employees' unions held a protest on Monday in front of the State Bank of Patiala (SBoP) head office against "unwarranted banking reforms", and seeking early wage revision.
All India Bank Employees' Association and All India Bank Officers' Association called for the demonstration.
While addressing a gathering, Punjab Bank Employees' Federation general secretary NK Gaur said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently issued guidelines for setting up of small banks and payment banks in private sector.
It was only after fifty years of bitter experience with private banks and their adverse role that a major policy decision was taken to usher in public sector banking services in our country. Ever since, in the last four decades, public sector banks have commendably contributed to the socio-economic development, said Gaur.
She pointed out that in many countries, including the US, local area private banks brought on chaos in their economies. Saying that India could not afford such risks, she said the banking sector was expected to play crucial role in the country's development.
Federation secretary Yadvinder Gupta said, "The central government talking about financial inclusion and giving out licenses to open new private banks indicate there is enough space for new players. So, we feel consolidation of public sector banks is not necessary. Instead associate banks need to be given independence."
"Banks are now focussing on retail business rather than lending to corporate, probable because of past bad experience. Corporates contribute to about 50-60% of non-performing assets.If banks focussed on retail business, there will be no need for consolidation or mergers," said Gupta.