Cradle of banking industry rues at babies being ‘snatched away’

Corporation Bank was founded on March 12, 1906. file photo

Corporation Bank was founded on March 12, 1906. file photo   | Photo Credit: H_S_Manjunath

Three banks founded in Karnataka’s coastal area face merger

Called the cradle of banking industry, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts (erstwhile undivided Dakshina Kannada) now feel that their nurtured babies are being snatched away with the Centre’s latest proposal to merge three public sector banks from the region. Another bank of the coast, Vijaya Bank, is already merged with Bank of Baroda.

The agrarian and rural nature of these banks are set to change pro-capitalist with the merger, rued Vincent D’Souza, general secretary of Corporation Bank Employees’ Union, headquartered in Mangaluru. Family members of Corporation Bank founder president Khan Bahadur Haji Abdullah Haji Kasim Saheb Bahadur termed the move “very painful”.

Three of the coast’s nationalised banks are getting merged; SyndicateBank headquartered at Manipal with Canara Bank (both originated in the coast) and Corporation Bank with Union Bank along with Andhra Bank.

Watch | Merger of public sector banks

While Corporation Bank was founded on March 12, 1906, as Canara Banking Corporation (Udupi) Ltd. by the late Abdullah Haji, Canara Bank was founded on July 1, 1906, by Ammembala Subbaraya Pai as Canara Hindu Permanent Fund Ltd., in Mangaluru and SyndicateBank was established as Canara Industrial and Banking Syndicate on October 20, 1925, at Udupi by Upendra Ananth Pai, Vaman Kudva, and T.M.A. Pai.

Mr. D’Souza told The Hindu that the bank was primarily focusing on rural areas and has branches in many rural areas. Its target groups have been farmers, small businessmen and small and medium enterprises.

The merger with other banks that have different priorities and different work culture would alter the functioning of the bank, Mr. D’Souza felt. Besides affecting loyal customers, it would also affect employees who might face difficulties in adjusting to the new work culture and may have to face abrupt transfers. Branch rationalisation which is bound to happen, Mr. D’Souza said, would affect employment creation. These things have already happened with Vijaya Bank, which was merged with Bank of Baroda, he said.

He said the union would launch a series of agitation to retain the bank’s independent existence in the coming days.

Meanwhile, M. Iqbal Manna, husband of Haji Abdullah’s great-grand-daughter Rameeza Rahmath, said government’s decision on the merger came as a big shock not only to their family, but also for the entire populace of Udupi. Known as Akbar of Udupi, the late Haji Abdullah was respected by all for his generosity. While the government’s decision is for common good, it should retain the museum and residence of the founder at the founder’s branch in Udupi, Mr. Manna demanded.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 2:40:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cradle-of-banking-industry-rues-at-babies-being-snatched-away/article29310729.ece

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