Oh God.. This bank will disappear

Thiruvananthapuram: After more than seven decades in existence and often referred to as Kerala's own bank, the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) will on March 31 go into oblivion. From the new fiscal, the bank will be merged with the State Bank of India (SBI).

At the end of the previous fiscal the total business of SBT stood at Rs 1,68,123 crore, which comprised total deposits of Rs 1,01,119 crore and advances of Rs 67,004 crore.
As a result of the merger, more than 14,000 employees (5,000 officers and the rest comprising clerical and subordinate staff) and 1,200 SBT branches (880 in Kerala alone) will cease to exist under the brand name SBT.
In all, 400 branches of SBT will be physically closed down.

Speaking to IANS, K.S. Krishna, general secretary of SBT Employees Union, said the instruments of the SBT will be honoured till August 31, "after which our cheques and drafts will also go out of circulation".

"What we are told is that of the 880 SBT branches in Kerala, 204 branches would be closed. The exact number of State Bank of India branches that would be closed down is not yet known. A decision has been taken that in case there are two branches of these banks in the same location, then if the SBT is located in its own property, it would continue," said Krishna.

The State Bank of India (SBI) has 3,000 employees and 480 branches in Kerala.

To downsize the staff in SBT, the SBT management has offered a VRS scheme that closes on April 5.

"From April 5 to 22, there is a window given for those who have opted for VRS to reverse their decision. This is open to all categories of employees. The offer for VRS is 50 per cent salary for the remaining service with a maximum of 30 months," said Krishna.

The giant SBT headquarters in the capital city will become the State Bank of India local head office.

The top level officials of the present SBT, including its managing director, eight general managers and 36 deputy general managers, are getting ready to move to new locations.

"The top person in SBI in Kerala from April 1 will be sitting in our erstwhile headquarters and would hold the rank of Chief General Manager. Under him there would be three general managers and 12 deputy general managers," said Krishna.

On April 21 and 22, the technology integration would be complete and the entire banking data of SBT would be merged with that of SBI.

SBI currently has 79.09 per cent shareholding in SBT. The Kerala government's stake in SBT is 0.89 per cent, while the remainder is in the hands of around 60,000 individual shareholders. The transfer of shares has already taken place, with SBT shareholders holding 10 shares given 22 shares of SBI.
IANS