11th Why Do Bank Unions demand for 5 Days Banking & reduction of cash transaction hours ?


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Thursday, 12 September 2019

Why Do Bank Unions demand for 5 Days Banking & reduction of cash transaction hours ?

One of the major demand of the banker's union in upcoming 11th Bipartite Wage Settlement is introduction of 5 days banking. The speific demand of the bankers are not yet accepted by the IBA without any reason. 

Banker's Union has provided the set of reasons for introduction of 5 days banking :

The 4 officers organisations have submitted a substantiated, logical reasoning for introduction of 5 Day week Banking. 

Across the globe 5 day week is a norm. Even in our country, most of the progressive, forward-looking corporates, organizations, Government and quasi-Government Organizations have been functioning 5 day a week, which enables the officers and employees to have balanced work life so that they are motivated and can contribute significantly.

With the focus on digital banking, Alternate channels, Internet Banking, POS facilities, on-line payment systems, the introduction and 5 day week and reduced cash transaction hours will lead to the augmentation of digital transactions. As such, declaring remaining Saturdays as holidays will have no impact.

Now, banks are conducting cash transactions till one hour prior to close of office hours. Thus, the branches are left with only one hour to aggregate, verify and complete the process of cash counting, re-counting and lodging into the vault. This has a telling effect on closure of the branches for the day, elongating working hours of officers, constraining them to overstay in the branches. Now a very substantial numbers of bank branches are single officer branches. Till the closure of cash, officers will be constrained to handle cash related transactions and is confined to the desk, depriving of much required attention to other areas like lending, business development and compliance related work.

Now that ATMs have been deployed in every part of the country with high density, digital banking like internet banking, mobile banking has occupied pivotal place in transactional banking. Further, the Government’s has been propagating digital and electronic banking in a big way to reduce the importance and volume of physical cash transactions. In keeping with these, it would be in fitness of things to reduce the cash transaction hours to 4 hours. This will have the following advantages:

a. Dependency on cash in the society will be reduced

b. Citizenry will adopt better and faster digital, electronic mode of banking

c. Will bring down the cost of operations of banks, paving way for reduced service charges

d. Will bring down the cost of printing currency and its management by Reserve Bank of India

e. Provides much needed time to operating functionaries to complete the day’s work well on time.

f. Enables officers to engage themselves in compliances and business development activities.

While the office hours of banks are well defined, officers have been subjected to unregulated working hours. 

Each officer in the industry is made to work unreasonably beyond office hours. While it is an accepted international norm that one cannot work efficiently, applying mental faculty, beyond 8 hours, officers are forced to work for 10-12 hours a day, exposing not only the officers to health risks, but also multiplying the consequential operational risk to the banks. 

Longer working hours have negative impact on the level of performance, quality of decision, culture of the organization and the industry, in addition to enslaving him to work, discarding familial and social obligations.

IBA/Government has not shown any demonstrative inclination on the issue.

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