SBI Employee Base Has Reduced By 10,500 In Last 6 Months! Too Many Retirements?

Such a huge number of bank employees retiring within such short period is not natural


SBI Employee Base

Some highly unusual numbers are coming in, regarding SBI employee base and retirements in India’s largest bank.

In the last 6 months, between April to September, 2017, around 10,500 employees have retired, and this calls for some debate on the direction in which Indian banking sector is moving.

This huge number of retired bank employees within such short period is not natural; and the matter becomes serious when we find that even ICICI Bank, which is India’s largest private sector bank, has reduced their strength by more 1000 employees during Q2 of 2017.

Is automation, AI and robotics taking a toll on banking jobs?

We try to scoop out the truth here..

SBI Employee Base Reduced By 10,500!

Let’s start with the facts first.

In April this year, SBI had merged with five associate banks (State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore) and Bharatiya Mahila Bank, and all their employees were automatically converted into SBI employees.

However, beginning from April till September, we witnessed 10,584 employees being retired in SBI, which is highly unnatural rate of retirement, for any bank.

No doubt consolidation is taking place, but such a high rate of retired employees clearly indicate that several traditional jobs have been lost forever.

Another fact: there are a lot less clerical jobs being generated right now.

Compared to 2,79,803 SBI employees in March this year, there are 2,69,219 staff as on September 2017. Total of 11,382 employees have retired (or asked to retire??); whereas only 798 new employees joined between April to September.

Now, out of those new employees who joined, around 90% are probationary officers, and only 10% are clerks. This means that clerical jobs are getting redundant, and this means that banking sector is witnessing a paradigm shift.

As per reports coming in, around 4876 people would be further retired, by the time March 2018 ends.

ICICI Bank too had reduced their employee strength by 1000+ in the Q2 of 2017.

As of June 2017, there were total of 84,140 employees in ICICI Bank, which has now reduced to 83,058 as of October 30, 2017.

Is everything ok with banking sector?

SBI Responds: This Is Natural Job Growth Rate

As per SBI, the reduced employee strength is part of the consolidation, which happened due to merger with State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore and Bharatiya Mahila Bank, as 70,000 employees were absorbed by SBI.

Now, there will be an adjustment in employee strength, as ‘technology’ needs to be accommodated.

Prashant Kumar, Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development Officer) of SBI said,

“We have got employees from our associate banks and hence, we had already said there would be very less recruitments this year. However, we have recruited 2,200 probationary officers who would be joining us from January 2018. That is the only recruitment planned so far.”

Confirming that focus on clerks has been reduced, and probationary officers would be the largest chunk of hiring, SBI’s former chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said,

“I don’t think we will be doing too many recruitments. On the clerical side, there will not be any recruitments and on the officers’ side, there will be some towards the end of the year.”

Interestingly, in the coming days, SBI will ‘redeploy’ around 2000 employees as several administrative offices are closing down, and relocate around 8,616 employees from the rationalisation of branches.

As per Arundhati, SBI is also saving money by reducing employee strength:

“If you see, in FY16 and FY17 also our employee costs have remained stable. This trend will continue… to that extent, we will be more or less around this number.”

We will keep you informed, as we receive more information regarding job and employment trends in the banking sector.

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