He also alleged that centre is planning to create six large banks by merging all public-sector banks.

Kerala bank labour unions fear corporate take-over of legacy banks want govt intervention
news Banks Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 08:48

The labour unions of bank employees in Kerala have expressed fears that efforts are on for a largescale corporate takeover of four of Kerala’s old-generation private banks. The union leaders say that a concerted effort is on to handover these banks to the hands of those who are only interested in money.

Dhanlaxmi Bank, South Indian Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank and Federal Bank, were established in the beginning of the 20th century and have been functioning the same way public sector banks do. But now, unions say that it is evident from the accumulation of shares of these banks in bulk by a few investors that a takeover could be imminent.

Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) said that “any such attempt would have far-reaching consequences,” according to The Hindu BusinessLine.

“A major part of the shares now being purchased are by NRI investors whose interest is only in trading profits. There are hardly any legal bottlenecks in the country for merger of banks in the existing framework. Besides, the Centre’s decision to increase NRI participation in private banks to 74 per cent has made things easy,” BEFI Kerala President T Narendran told BusinessLine.

He also alleged that centre is planning to create six large banks by merging all public-sector banks.

These banks have been facing takeover threats for last many years. 15 years ago, when the private Nedungadi bank merged with Punjab National bank, there were reports that corporate banks were interested in these age-old Kerala banks.

ICICI bank’s share purchase in South Indian Bank and Federal Bank had also raked up a controversy in 2003. In 2014, MA Yusaffali, one of the wealthiest NRIs from Kerala and managing director of the Abu Dhabi-based EMKE group had bought Rs. 560 crore worth shares in all the four Kerala private banks

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