Banking operations in public sector banks in the country were partially hit on Thursday, as a section of employees went on a one-day strike, protesting against banking reforms.

The country’s largest bank, State Bank of India, functioned normally, as its employees stayed away from the strike.

In West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura and Tamil Nadu, services of public sector banks were hit to a great extent.

In metros, public sector bank branches were open, as officer-level employees weren’t a part of the strike.

Normal function, however, was affected at semi-urban and rural branches in the country.

Cash withdrawal and deposit, clearing of cheques, and electronic cash transfer were hence affected to some extent.

According to Allahabad Bank Chairperson and Managing Director, Shubhalakshmi Panse, out of the 2,500 plus branches, more than 900 branches were open, and transactions happened in around 710 branches.

The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), the All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) and the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) participated in the strike.

This strike was in opposition to amendments carried out in the Banking Regulation Act and Banking Companies Act, enabling foreign equity in public sector banks, AIBEA General Secretary, C. H. Venkatachalam, said.

The amendment to the banking laws will dilute the interests of public sector banks, he said.

The unions claimed that approximately five lakh employees of various public sector banks participated in the strike.