Banking operations hit for the 2nd day Thursday

Banking operations hit for the 2nd day Thursday New Delhi: Normal banking operations like cheque clearances, money withdrawal and deposits at branches were affected for the second consecutive day on Thursday as employees of public sector banks refrained from work.

Some of the ATMs of PSU banks went dry on the second day even though lenders had taken measures to mitigate the hardships due to strike.

Banks had taken steps to ensure that public do not face problems at least on the cash front during the strike period. Banks have replenished ATMs to meet the requirements in these two days.

The two-day nation-wide strike call, demanding early wage revision among other issues, was given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) that comprises nine national unions.

It was, however, business as usual at private sector banks like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.

Employees of public sector insurance companies, including LIC and New India Assurance, participated in the strike.

All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Vekatachalam claimed clearing operations, electronic fund transfers, forex transactions and money market operations were completely disrupted across the country.

Not a single cheque was presented in RBI for clearance as compared to 7-8 lakh cheques in a normal day, sources said.

Transactions were affected at the country's largest lender, State Bank of India. As many as 1,000 offices including regional and zonal offices of the bank was opened against total branch network of 14,300.

Bank unions are pressing for early wage revision of employees, which they said is due from November 2012. They are also opposing banking sector reforms and any plan for merger of banks.

There are 26 public sector banks with employees strength of around 10 lakh.

PTI