A day after the Centre's nod for the proposed merger of State Bank of Travancore (SBT) with the State Bank of India, 'Save SBT Forum' on Thursday protested the move and demanded a rollback on the issue "as it's against the interest of Kerala".
"The merger will turn the SBI into a global bank but in the bargain, it will ignore the needs of Kerala people and instead serve the corporates more," Forum Chairman and senior Communist Party of India leader Paniyan Ravindran said at a protest meeting here.
"The merger will lead to job cuts and closure of branches -- it will affect Kerala as the SBT has been in the forefront when it comes to extending loans to the ordinary man and overall development of the state," added Ravindran.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposed merger of the State Bank of India (SBI) with its five subsidiaries -- State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and the State Bank of Travancore.
The SBT Employees Union has been opposing the proposed merger tooth and nail and barring the Bharatiya Janata Party, all other major political parties have demanded a rollback on the merger.
At the end of the previous fiscal, total SBT business stood at Rs 1,68,123 crore, with deposits of Rs 1,01,119 crore and advances of Rs 67,004 crore. The SBT has about 14,000 employees.