Syndicate Bank has reduced its staff strength by as much as 10 per cent within the last two years, even without resorting to a voluntary retirement scheme.
Syndicate Bank chairman K V Krishnamurthy told Business Standard the bank had managed to reduce the workforce by 2,400.
"Most of the staff reduction has come from the older officer levels of the staff," said Krishnamurthy. "The initiative has taken place with the full cooperation of the unions."
The Manipal-based bank earlier had one of the highest staffing levels among public sector banks, with 35,000 employees. At the end of March 1998, it ranked seventh in terms of staffing.
The reduction was made by promising staff full pension and provident fund benefits. The average cost per employee of the separation was around Rs 6 lakh, and the total cost to the bank around Rs 144 crore, said Krishnamurthy.
He added that the bank plans to reduce its staff by a further 1,000 in the coming fiscal. "We had made full provision for the costs of staff reduction in our balance sheet," he said.
The bank recorded a net profit of Rs 207.05 crore for the nine months ended December 31, 1999, compared with Rs 137.58 crore in the previous fiscal. The net profit for the entire previous financial year was Rs 142.58 crore.