Bank strike today: Which services are affected as 10 lakh employees protest privatisation

Banking operations across the country could be impacted on Monday and Tuesday as the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) has given a call for a nationwide strike to protest against the proposed privatisation of two public sector banks/

UPDATED: March 15, 2021 06:34 IST

Banking services are likely to be hit across the country today and tomorrow (March 16) as lakhs of bank employees are set to go on a strike against the privatisation of two public sector banks,

10 lakh bank employees, part of the United Forum of Bank Unions have been protesting in the country for the last month and have now called for a two-day nationwide bank strike on March 15-16.

With banks having been shut on Saturday and Sunday, banking operations will now be hit over a four-day period.


  • Services such as deposits and withdrawal at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals would be affected due to the strike.
  • However, ATMs may continue to function normally.
  • Many public sector lenders, including the State Bank of India (SBI), have informed their customers that their normal working could be affected at the branches and offices if the strike materialises.
  • Banks have also informed that they are taking necessary steps for the smooth functioning of bank branches and offices.
  • Services of private banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank that account for about one-third of banking services are expected to remain normal.


The March bank strike comes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) as part of the government’s disinvestment plan as part of the 2021 Union Budget.

The government has already privatised IDBI Bank by selling its majority stake in the lender to LIC in 2019 and has merged 14 public sector banks in the last four years.

The names of two public sector banks are yet to be announced.

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Conciliation meetings – before the Additional Chief Labour Commissioner on March 4, 9 and 10 – did not yield any positive result, so the strike stands, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

Members of UFBU include All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Confederation of India (BEFI).

Others are the Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation of Bank Officers (NOBO).

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