With more employees joining its fold after the merger with its subsidiaries, State Bank of India (SBI), country’s largest bank, has planned to reduce hiring in this financial year.
Without giving a number, Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya informed the analyst post results, “I don’t think we will be doing too many recruitments. On the clerical side, there will not be any recruitments and on the officers’ side, there will be some towards the end of the year.”
Earlier this year, SBI released a recruitment notification for filling 2,313 posts for probationary officers (PO).
Currently on its website, the bank has openings for POs and junior associates. Its professionals requirement was met through lateral hires and management trainees.
According to Bhattacharya, “We already have some bit of overflow from the associate banks. Now that will be adjusted by the end of the year as about 13,000 people have retired and 3,600 have opted for VRS (voluntary retirement scheme).
SBI recruited 13,097 employees from April 2016 to March 2017, while 11,264 retired during that period.
From April 1, 2017, SBI merged with itself Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) and its five associate banks - State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP), State Bank of Travancore (SBT).
About 70,000 of the employees of the associate banks and the all-women BMB were slated to join SBI post the merger. With 3,600 opting for VRS, about 66,400 staff will be joining the bank.
The SBI chief said that the VRS expenses for the bank are estimated at Rs 480-500 crore and 75 percent of this has been borne in FY17 itself and hence the majority of the merger expenses are taken care of.
Staff expenses in FY17 increased by 5.5 percent. However, during the fourth quarter of the year, the costs reduced by 10 percent.
The SBI chief said, “Employee costs have come down on account of the fact that 11,000 of our people have retired and to that extent, the new joining has been for the last two months…If you see, in FY16 and FY17 also our employee costs have remained stable. This trend will continue... To that extent, we will be more or less around this number.”
The bank’s total employee strength as on March end was 209,572.