Chennai: The strike by about 45,000 employees in five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI) was observed successfully on Friday, a top leader of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) said.

“The strike call given by All India Bank Employees’ Association to protest against the decision to close down the five associate banks was successfully observed today by all the 45,000 employees,” C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary of AIBEA, said in a statement issued here.

The five associate banks are State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBJJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP), and State Bank of Travancore (SBT).

“The whole idea is to make SBI a very big bank of global size. What India needs is strong and good banks, and not big banks,” Venkatachalam said.

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“In USA we have seen very big banks have collapsed like a pack of cards. Very big banks will tend to become insensitive to the needs of the common people and thus will help only the big business,” he added.

The five associate banks have more than 67,000 branches and 9,000 ATMs, according to Venkatachalam.

The total business of these banks as in March 2016 was Rs 900,000 crore with operative profit of Rs 10,500 crore.

Venkatachalam said post merger, the state governments Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Telengana and Punjab will lose revenue because they now get a share in the tax on profits paid by these banks.

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