There will be no loss of employment after merger of PSBs: Sankara Narayanan

Topics PSB | Banks merger | PSU bank merger

R A Sankara Narayanan
During his tenure as the managing director and chief executive officer of a public sector bank, R A Sankara Narayanan has seen it all — from being acquired by Bank of Baroda during his stint in Vijaya Bank to the announced plan to acquire Syndicate Bank as the head of Canara Bank. He tells in an interview about the key challenges in a merger. Edited excerpts:

From being the head of the acquiree bank to the acquirer bank, how do you feel?

I have been part of earlier amalgamation. It’s a good effort and I hope it adds value to both the banks. We will ensure the staff and customer interests are fully taken care of. 

What were the key challenges you faced in the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda?

There were absolutely no challenges. There are always two issues — information technology (IT) and human resources (HR) and both were well attended by Bank of Baroda.

What kind of HR issues are you talking about?

In the credit department there were three general managers for three banks in my earlier stint. Selecting the best out of them and treating them properly is important, not only in terms of operations but administratively. In the last merger, all three banks got together and formulated the plan cohesively.

When were you informed about the merger?

In today’s meeting.

And so was the case during the previous merger too?

Yes, but the discussions were on since last six months. It was mainly based on system integration that the government took a call for amalgamation.

Are you expecting an extension in your tenure since your retirement is round the corner?

I am least bothered about it. I will do my best till I am here.

Can you give some timelines related to the merger?

The HR integration takes about three to six months and IT integration takes minimum one year.

How do you go back and communicate to your team about the government’s announcement?

The most important thing is communication. The managing directors and executive directors of banks will hold meetings with employees and convey to them that none of the benefits will be taken away, career growth will be assured and they will be told there will be no loss of jobs. We have assured and demonstrated it in the last merger.

What about rationalisation of branches?

We did not close any branches (during the previous merger). Only when branches are present in the same street or building, we take a call based on customers.

But your regional synergies are strong with Syndicate Bank...

We will review and take a call.

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