BUSINESS

BoM spots opportunity in COVID-19 crisis

While the bank is eyeing higher sales, the move has not gone down well with the staff union.Shanker Chakravarty

While the bank is eyeing higher sales, the move has not gone down well with the staff union.Shanker Chakravarty  

Asks staff to drive sales of insurance products citing demand due to virus spread

The state-run Bank of Maharashtra has sensed a business opportunity in the COVID-19 outbreak. It has issued a circular to all its branches and offices asking staff to beef up sales of health insurance products since such products are in demand now following the outbreak of the virus.

The circular, which has been reviewed by The Hindu , says the bank’s performance in selling life and non-life insurance products has been disappointing.

“The performance of the bank under this campaign is nowhere near expectations in both ‘life insurance campaign’ and ‘non-life insurance campaign’, which is very disappointing. To give a push to the campaign, it is decided to observe a dedicated four days (March 18-21, 2020) drive for health insurance,” the communication said. “Looking at the risk of the pandemic COVID-19, awareness and demand for health insurance have increased. This is the time for us to use this as a business opportunity and help our customers by offering suitable health insurance products,” the circular reads.

The Pune-based bank acts as an agent for insurance companies such as United India Insurance, Future Generali and ManipalCigna.

However, the directive has not gone down well with its staff. “It is shocking to observe that when the entire nation is struggling with this medical emergency as a national disaster, Bank of Maharashtra administration is looking at it as a business opportunity,” said Devidas Tuljapurkar, general secretary, All India Bank Of Maharashtra Employees Federation.

“Bank employees with great difficulty and risk are attending the bank and asking them to fulfill the target for health insurance is inhuman and asking customers to purchase those policies is cruel,” he said, demanding the circular be withdrawn.

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