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Govt banks weigh hike in profit share for staff

By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 18, Jul 2015, 10:01 am IST | UPDATED: 19, Aug 2015, 15:43 pm IST

Govt banks weigh hike in profit share for staff

Mumbai: Concerned about competition from new private sector banks and other financial services providers, public sector banks, led by State Bank of India (SBI), have approached the government to increase performance-based incentives for their employees.

SBI, the country’s largest lender, has already set the ball rolling, writing to the finance ministry and seeking approval to share three per cent of profits with senior- and middle-management employees. Other large lenders such as Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and IDBI Bank are likely to follow.

SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said incentivisation was a good way of retaining talent in the wake of competition. “...if you consider the fact that incentivisation is a good way of ensuring people meet up to whatever are the challenges...they respond to them. So, to that extent, the government allows us to share one per cent. We are saying it is necessary for us to hike that amount to three per cent,” Bhattacharya told news agency PTI.

Senior executives of large banks such as Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and IDBI Bank said there was a definite need to revise the incentive package to recognise the performance of experienced people, who could otherwise move to competition, especially new banks and other financial entities.

“We are considering approaching the government for a revision in the ceiling,” said a senior IDBI Bank official.

A Bank of India executive said the bank’s management had considered raising the limit but the proposal didn’t move forward because the bank didn’t have a full-time chief executive.

“Given the intense competition in the sector, the risk of talent flight is very high and a higher amount is necessary at the hands of the management to reward performers, though it would hardly match what the private sector provides. But at the least, it could be made three per cent of the net profit,” the official said.

According to norms, public sector enterprises are allowed to offer one per cent of their net profit to employees as incentives. Now, SBI and others want that to be increased to three per cent.

For 2014-15, listed public sector banks had reported a net profit of Rs 36,500 crore, according to BS Research data. If the government allows an increase in the ceiling, banks will have to shell out an additional Rs 735 crore. For SBI, the additional outgo would be Rs 262 crore.

For 2014-15, listed public sector banks had reported a net profit of Rs 36,500 crore, according to BS Research data. If the government allows an increase in the ceiling, banks will have to shell out an additional Rs 735 crore. For SBI, the additional outgo would be Rs 262 crore.

Pratip Chaudhuri, former chairman of SBI, said, “In the bank, up to one per cent of net profit is shared with branch managers and above, up to the level of chairman. This is based on parameters such as deposit growth, loan growth, non-performing asset management, net interest margin, cost-to-income ratio, and percentage of low-cost deposits.”

Public sector banks are facing a huge talent crunch, especially in the mid-management segment, owing to a freeze in recruitment between 1980 and 1990, as a significant portion of their workforce would retire by 2020. The Reserve Bank of India had termed the present decade a retirement one for government banks.

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