Hari Rao

There have been shocking instances of suicides of bank officers, especially women
officers mainly due to work pressure and harassment to achieve business targets in a
highly competitive environment, the recent one being the suicide of a young lady officer
of State Bank of India due to work pressure and harassment by her Project Manager.

The suicide of a 24 year old women officer, whose body was found floating in a creek
on 1 st August, due to work related stress, depression which led to ending her life was
met with widespread protests in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra. The
issue was raised in the State Assembly by MLA Bhaskar Jhadav. The Project Manager
Sangram Gaikwad of SBI Dapoli branch has been remanded to judicial custody by local
court in Ratnagiri.

In September 2022, Ministry of Finance has convened a meeting of Public Sector Bank
chiefs to take stock of staff-shortage leading to HR crisis for lenders. As per RBI
statistics as on March 2021, the number of bank branches in the country increased by
28% to 86311, whereas the overall number of bank employees is almost stagnant from
7.76 lakhs in 2010-11 to 7.71 lakhs in 2021-21.

The banking system as a whole is shifting from mass banking to class banking with the
unsatiated thirst for profits and increasing big business. The concentration of RAM
products and sanctioning loans through digital platform as pre-approved loans with
unachievable daily targets make the life of bank men miserable. The pressure from the
Government side to subscribe the maximum number of customers to the targeted
products viz., APY, PMJJBY, PMSBY etc and to increase digital transactions add to the
everyday problems in the bank branches which are already facing acute shortage of

Every day review through Whatsapp groups, innumerable video/online meetings,
threatening and insulting the officers/staff in the open meetings by the higher
executives, transferring the so called non-performing officers etc. are making the job of
a banker a haunting one every day. Refusal to sanction leave, recalling the staff who
are on medical leave, stopping payment of salary of a sick person on medical leave
making his/her life more miserable are the everyday happenings in the Banking sector.
Apart from the above, issuing explanatory memos, disciplinary actions, transfer to long
distant places are other kind of harassment unleashed on the employees and officers.
The suffering of the family members of the stressfully affected employee is a big social

To achieve targets, with no other option but through unscrupulous methods like using
dummy mobile numbers in the accounts of customers for digital platform products etc
lead to digital theft and frauds is another side of the target oriented work pressure.

It is time for the Bank Unions and its member employees to raise to the occasion and
fight against the inhuman treatment meted out to the employees by the managements and for a dignified work life balance atmosphere in the Banking Sector.

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