New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Banking services in several public sector banks (PSBs) will likely be affected on Monday and Tuesday as the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) -- an umbrella body of nine bank unions -- has called for a two-day nationwide strike against central government's proposed privatisation of two state-owned lenders.

The State Bank of India (SBI), India's largest public-sector lender, IDBI Bank and Canara Bank have also issued a statement that their services will likely be affected on March 15 and March 16. However, the two banks have said that necessary steps have been taken smooth functioning of their branches and offices.

"We have been advised by Indian Banks Association (IBA) that UFBU has given a call for an all-India strike by bank employees on 15th and 16th March 2021," the SBI said in a statement earlier.

"While Bank has made all arrangements to ensure normal functioning in its branches and offices, it is likely that work in our Bank may be impacted by the strike," the SBI added.

Who has called the strike?

The strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) which is an umbrella body of nine bank unions -- All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers’ Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).

What are the bank unions protesting?

The bank unions are protesting against Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's proposed decision in Union Budget 2021 to privatise public sector banks (PSBs). Notably, the central government has been pitching for more privatisation in the public sector. So far, it has also merged 14 state-owned banks in the last four years.

Services likely to be affected/ unaffected:

* Deposits, withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals will likely be affected.

* ATM services will continue.

* Private banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank will function normally.

* However, PSU banks, including the State Bank of India (SBI), won't function normally.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma