Some depts were made redundant due to rejig: MUFG Bank

By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Jan 3 : Japan’s MUFG Bank’s centralisation of operations to streamline its business functions has resulted in some roles and departments being made redundant in some of its Indian branches, said a spokesperson.

Responding to IANS questions on the sudden termination of 26 employees (workmen and officers) the bank’s spokesperson said: “For the past few years, MUFG Bank India has undertaken a series of centralisation initiatives in order to streamline our business functions.”

The official said the reorganising exercise is part of the bank’s transformation initiatives to align with global peers, enhance client experience, and build a strong and efficient operational platform for a sustainable future.

“As a result, we have had to make some roles and departments redundant in a few of our branches. For all such roles which became redundant, we made adequate compensation arrangements beyond the amounts contemplated in law,” the official said.

Adding further the official said the bank has conducted itself with the utmost professionalism and in full compliance with all the legal and statutory requirements during this difficult period.

“We have treated all our ex-colleagues with empathy and respect throughout this process, including extending comprehensive career transition benefit programmes to each one of them. We are grateful to them for their contributions to the bank, and intend to continue to do our best to support them in their transition,” the official said.

“The roles and departments have not become redundant but their functions have been shifted to Mumbai. The Treasury and Credit Administration Department has been centralised in Mumbai. My current role and work in TCAD have not at all become redundant, on the contrary I have not been given an opportunity to get transferred and perform those roles and functions in Mumbai. These are all facts and a matter of official record,” Virender Singh, Vice President of All India MUFG Employees’ Association told IANS.

Singh is one of the 26 MUFG Bank employees who were dismissed on Dec 29, 2020.

The MUFG Bank spokesperson declined to comment on the dismissed employees’ views that the bank could have asked them whether they were willing to work in Mumbai where hiring of a large number of employees happened.

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Singh also said the career transition programme that the bank official talks about is nothing but a suggestion of a consultancy firm that the dismissed employees can contact for advice.

According to the MUFG Bank’s spokesperson, the Indian business remains core to MUFG’s growth and the organisation is resilient to ride out the storm of the current harsh environment.

“We are pained to read various accusations made by AIBEA (All India Bank Employees’ Association) post this redundancy. We refrain from making any specific comments with respect to them,” the spokesperson said.

A total of 26 employees of MUFG Bank India who have put in two or three decades of service with the bank were terminated on December 29 without any reason, two employees who had lost their jobs told IANS.

They said those who were dismissed include eight workmen and 18 officers.

“Some employees – like us – were terminated over phone. Owing to Covid-19, employees attend office in a planned manner. Some employees who were in the office were escorted out with the help of bouncers,” H.S. Chaudhary, General Secretary and Singh Vice President of All India MUFG Employees’ Association told IANS.

One of the MUFG Bank employee told IANS: “On Dec 29, 2020, I was told over phone that my services are terminated and my bank account would be credited with 11 months pay and pay for three months notice period. I was asked to fill and sign the papers to get my Provident Fund and Gratuity.”

The MUFG Bank has about 400 employees in India. It has five branches – one each in New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Rajasthan’s Neemrana.

“Complaints will be filed with the Labour Commissioners in Chennai and Delhi against the sudden dismissal of employees by the MUFG Bank,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA told IANS.

He said the complaint will be about the unfair labour practices of the MUFG Bank.

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“We have asked our members not to withdraw the amount credited by the MUFG Bank as the final settlement as the termination is fundamentally wrong,” Venkatachalam said.

According to Singh, the MUFG Bank had brought in a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) in 2018 but not many employees opted for it.

The dismissed officials would be in the age group of late 40s and 50s, and also included women.

“At this age the dismissed employees would be having college going children and the sudden loss of employment and the bleak possibility of getting a new one at this age will put their families into dire straits,” Chaudhary said.

Chaudhary said the bank management is trying to deunionise as all the office bearers have been terminated in the garb of centralisation of operations.

He said the management is upset with the Union as it had helped a retired driver to file a case for an increased pension amount.

“The bank had offered him a pension of about Rs 20,000 per month as a part of the VRS package. That person didn’t opt for VRS and he retired. On his retirement the pension amount is only Rs 7,000. A case has been filed citing the huge variance in the pension amount,” Chaudhary said.

“MUFG India’s asset quality remains among the best in foreign banks, benefiting from its lending policy oriented towards global multi-national corporates and local subsidiaries/joint ventures of Japanese companies and high-rated domestic corporates,” India Ratings and Research in a report said in a report in August 2020.

MUFG Bank reported nil slippages in FY19 and FY20 and fully recovered an entire account (which had earlier slipped in FY18) in FY20 (100% provided), India Ratings said.

According to India Ratings, the bank’s loan growth is expected to be muted, driven by increased prepayment and the management’s strategy to consolidate small accounts and focus on large corporates.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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