The common man and the corporates were equally hit as over eight lakh bank employees began their two-day, nationwide strike on Monday seeking a new wage agreement.

Employees of the public sector banks and some private and foreign banks are on strike under the umbrella of the United Forum of Bank Unions. ATMs ran dry in many parts of the country as the strike began the next day of a Sunday. The situation might worsen on Tuesday.

Citing increase in workload due to higher business volumes, the striking employees are demanding a wage revision from the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) in place of the one that lapsed on October 31, 2012.

The IBA maintains that banks are under stress due to bad loans and increase in cost of pension.

Earlier, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, speaking at the 78th foundation day of Indian Overseas Bank here, appealed to the strikers to recognise that bank profits could not be used only to enhance salaries as they must be invested in expansions.