Banking operations across the country was affected on Thursday with about 4.5 lakh bank employees joining the nationwide strike called by the central trade unions, said a top official of the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA).
He also said about 20 lakh cheques worth about Rs 18,000 crore could not be sent for clearance due to strike.
The strike was called to protest against the "anti-people policies" of the central government.
According to C.H.Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA, banking transactions have been affected in major states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar and others.
In Tamil Nadu, the state government had declared public holiday in 16 districts owing to cyclone and hence bank were fully closed. In other parts of the state too the strike is total, Venkatachalam said.
Cash could not be deposited or withdrawn in most of the branches. Many ATMs also did not function and were dry, he added.
"Employees of 12 public sector banks, nine private banks, nine foreign banks, all Regional Rural Banks and most of the Cooperative Banks will be participating in the strike," Venkatachalam had earlier told IANS.
According to him, employees of State Bank of India (SBI) are not participating in the strike, and similarly, officers in other banks are not striking work.