Indian Banks have more officers than clerks | Banks shed quarter of clerical staff in 6 years

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The number of clerical staff in the banking sector has come down by a quarter of its size in 2012-13, owing to large-scale computerisation and digitisation of services.

Reduction in clerical staff

According to data available with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the banking industry has seen a reduction of 1.25 lakh clerks since 2012-13. Till March 2018, banks have reduced their clerical staff by an average 5.8% on an annual basis. At the end of FY2018, the total clerical staff in India’s banks stood at 3.59 lakh.

Indian Banks shed quarter of clerical staff in 6 years
Indian Banks shed quarter of clerical staff in 6 years – Source – Deccan Herald

Public sector banks have reduced their clerical staff by over a lakh — a quarter of their strength at the end of FY13. Private banks have trimmed 59.7% (35,042 workers) of their clerical workforce.

On the contrary, banks have been increasing their officer-level staff, indicating a top-heavy model of human resources management.

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Experts attribute the phenomenon to the growing computerisation in banks, along with digitisation. “The number of people working in the branches has visibly come down over the last few years. This is primarily because the system has been computerised over the years. Also, after digitisation in the economy, not many people have been relying on conventional banking,” said Kris Lakshmikanth of Head Hunters India.

Industry insiders attribute this reduction to the introduction of Voluntary Retirement Schemes (VRS) and reduced hiring over the past years. “It was a deliberate move by the banks and the government. The clerical staff used to disrupt day-to-day operations of banks due to frequent strikes. We have seen that coming down of late,” Lakshmikanth said.

The move was expected to increase the efficiency of banks, which is still a distant mirage, as soaring bad loans in excess of Rs 9 lakh crore continue to cripple the Indian banking industry.

Banks increasing officer-level hiring

Banks have been increasing their officer-level staff, indicating a top-heavy model of human resources management. The total officers employed with Indian banks stood at 8,59,075 — up 55.7% from 5,51,712 six years ago.

Private banks have led the surge in the number of officers in the banking system. They have seen their officers’ strength jump by 2.5 times, overtaking the number of officers employed with PSBs. At the end of 2013, PSBs employed twice the number of officers of private banks.

Source – Deccan Herald

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