Now, banks count on their ex-staff

With the system under stress, many retired officials have opted to help banks cope with the deluge

: After the Union government demonetised Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes, R. Ravikumar, an ex-banker, has been travelling 7 km from his house at Korattur to Indian Overseas Bank, Nolambur branch, where he retired from. Mr. Ravi was not travelling to exchange currency or deposit money; he has been volunteering at this branch for the last three days.

“I was the chief manager here and I retired recently. All bank branches are crowded, so I wanted to come here and help the customers and staff in whatever way I can,” Mr. Ravikumar said.

Several retired bankers across the State have come out to volunteer with the banks that they worked for. These retired managers are helping in crowd management, verifying the ID proofs, helping people fill the application form and counselling people not to panic.

On Sunday, M. Sundar, a retired assistant manager of Indian Overseas Bank, was spotted at the bank’s Mandaveli branch guiding customers. “When I walked into the branch two days back to exchange currency, I noticed that there were long queues. I immediately offered to help customers,” he added.

Though the retired officials have not sought any remuneration for their services, some banks have offered to pay anywhere between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000 a day, while some have said they would take care of the conveyance charges.

According to an SMS from State Bank of India, “It is informed for the benefit of all retired clerical staff of SBI that the bank intends to utilise the services of such ex-employees who are experienced in cash department for the purpose of cash exchange duties at our branches.” As per the message, people who come forward would be paid Rs. 2,000 per day.

Indian Bank has also seen many of its retired officials volunteering their services.

“Demonetisation is a huge exercise. Our staff are working overtime and we need more people to manage the situation. The RBI has instructed that banks can use the services of retired employees,” said an official from Punjab National Bank.

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