PSU Banks hire employees amid slowdown
By Vaibhav Aggarwal
Nov 18, 2008
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Even though the economy is facing a slowdown and private as well as foreign lenders are cutting down on their employees, recruitments in public sector banks are not seeing any changes.

Country's largest lender, State Bank of India announces that it will hire 25,000 people during the current fiscal. This move seems unusual at a time when the private banking majors are following a practice of cost-cutting and turning off employees.

SBI Chairman OP Bhatt said: "For the last so many years, the bank has not been recruiting people. I understand the problem... This year, we are recruiting 20,000 people in the clerical cadre and 5,000 supervisory staff."

The economic slowdown has forced many financial organizations to lay off their employees. HSBC India has recently unwaged employees from Investsmart, a broking house in Mumbai. Even the world's largest bank Citigroup plans to turn off at least 10,000 employees while American Express, US credit group will also lay off around 10% of its workforce.

On the other hand, the state-owned banks have chalked out sizeable recruitment plans for the next two years. This follows from the fact that more and more PSU banks' employees are retiring in the coming times.

Director on the board of Bank of India, M N Gopinath said: "During 2008-09, more than 30,000 people have been already recruited and over the next few months another 10,000 will be absorbed. This figure is likely to go up to 50,000 and 75,000 over the next two years, respectively."

SBI will recruit 25,000 in 2008-09 out of which 20,000 will be clerks and 5,000 will be supervisors. The bank will add at least another 20,000 employees in 2009-10, as it opens 1,000 more branches.

There are other PSU banks that are planning to add on their employees amid the crisis. A Senior Executive of Bank of India said it will recruit 1,800 people across various categories in 2008-09. Union Bank of India also plans to recruit 5,000 by the end of March 2009. Similarly others like Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, Corporation Bank, Allahabad Bank and Dhanalakshmi Bank are also on a hiring spree.

Though all this may look strange but, Director of the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS), M Balachandran feel that commercial banking in India might escape the adverse impact of the economic slowdown.


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