SBI to Hire 7,200 People, Increase Reliance on Tech – SAIKAT DAS Mumbai

State Bank of India (SBI), the largest lender, plans to recruit about 7,200 people even as some 8,100 members of its staff are due to retire during the current fiscal, as it seeks to increase its reliance on technology for a number of routine tasks.

“I am trying to get a lot of technology to help my people so that they spend less of their time on activities that don’t really need a lot of thinking and knowledge. For routine stuff such as cash-counting, we are bringing more and more machines,“ said SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, adding that SBI should be able to manage with the number of people it planned to hire during 2014-15.

The bank plans to install cash deposit machines, which will reduce the use of teller counters manned by bank employees. It’s also bringing in cash recyclers ­ where the ATM uses the deposited money for withdrawals. “These machines (cash recyclers) can recognise fake notes and impound them and credit your account lesser by that amount. We will be bringing in around 4,500 cash recyclers,“ said Bhattacharya.

Although the entire banking industry in the country is facing a manpower shortage, the situation is particularly acute in state-owned banks where, according to an estimate by McKinsey India, 75% of the top management or those above the assistant general manager grade are due to retire by 2020. “In FY15, SBI is planning to recruit about 1,837 probationary officers and 5,400 assistant officers,“ JN Misra, SBI’s deputy managing director and corporate development officer, told ET, on the sidelines of a conference held by SBICAP Securities last week.

In the previous fiscal, the SBI’s 7,600 staff members retired while 35,00040,000 are due to retire over the next four years. This will happen at a time when new private entities like Bandhan and IDFC, which have already got banking licences from the Reserve Bank of India, will seek to compete with the established banks and are likely to offer higher remunerations to draw talent.

The central bank also plans to issue differentiated bank licences like a standalone payment bank in months to come.
That will further push up the demand for human resources and banks offering better salaries may corner the lion’s share from the limited talent pool.

SBI’s Misra, however, said the bank would not lose manpower to the new banks. “I don’t think attrition rate will go up at SBI due to the emergence of two new banks,“ Misra said. SBI offers a salary of about `. 70,000 per month to fresh graduates who join as probationers.

Source : The Economic Times

Date : 16/6/2014

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