Retirements and digitisation has led to a reduction of around 15,762 employees at the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI).
But here's some good news for those seeking bank jobs. The public sector bank (PSB) is set to hire 10,300 employees before the end of March 2019.
“Basically, we are replacing only about 75 percent of the retirements that are taking place given the cost and operational efficiency helped by digitisation and the merger process. This year, we plan to recruit 2,000 probationary officers (POs) and 8,300 clerical staff, of which 1,100 are from the reserved category which we have to mandatorily recruit,” Prashant Kumar, Corporate Development Officer at SBI told Moneycontrol.
SBI reported a massive Rs 7,718 crore loss for the January to March quarter in FY18 on May 22. This is the second-highest loss witnessed in the banking sector, which saw its total staff strength decline to 2,64,041 as of March end 2018 from 2,79,803 at the beginning of the financial year.
Kumar said, “A large part of the reduction is due to the retirement of about 12,000 employees and the additional 3,500 employees from associate banks opting for voluntary retirement scheme post merger.”
About 3,569 people had opted for VRS offered by parent bank SBI to all eligible employees of its five associates, which merged with SBI on April 1, 2017.
In an interview with Moneycontrol in December, Kumar had said that SBI was witnessing retirements to the extent of almost 10,000-12,000 employees annually.
A total of 18,973 employees retired, while 3,211 joined the bank between April 2017 and March 2018, according to SBI’s investor presentation. This helped the bank save expenses on staff, which saw a decline of 2.34 percent in FY18 YoY.
Overall, employee costs dropped to Rs 35,411 crore for the full year in FY18 from Rs 35,691 crore in FY17.
Chairman Rajnish Kumar credited the use of digitisation and adoption of artificial intelligence, blockchain and technologies that helped improve the bank's functioning.
He added, “The bank is doing a complete revamp in the training of employees. Focus is on developing the leadership pipeline, improving and enhancing the skills, technology and innovation in the bank.”