SBI to recruit 7,200 in 2015

State Bank of India the country's largest lender, plans to recruit about 7,200 people even as nearly 8,100 members of its staff are due to retire during the current fiscal, as it seeks to increase its dependence on technology for a number of routine tasks. "I am trying to get a lot of technology to help my people so that they spend less of their time on activities that don't really need a lot of thinking and knowledge. For routine stuff such as cash counting we are bringing more and more machines," said SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, adding the bank should be able to manage with the number of people it planned to hire during 2014-15.

The bank plans to install cash deposit machines, which will reduce the use of teller counters manned by bank employees. It is also bringing in cash recyclers - where the ATM uses the deposited money for withdrawals. "These machines (cash recyclers) can recognise fake notes and impound them and credit your account lesser by that amount. We will be bringing in around 4,500 cash recyclers," said Bhattacharya.

Although the entire banking industry in the country is facing a manpower shortage, the situation is particularly acute in state-owned banks where, according to an estimate by Mckinsey India, 75% of the top management or those above the assistant general manager grade are due to retire by 2020. "In FY15, SBI is planning to recruit about 1,837 probationary officers and 5,400 assistant officers," J N Misra, SBI's deputy managing director and corporate development officer told ET on the sidelines of a conference held by SBICAP Securities last week.

In the previous fiscal, the SB''s 7,600 staff members retired while 35,000-40,000 are due to retire over the next four years. This will happen at a time when new private entities like Bandhan and IDFC, which have already got banking licences from the Reserve Bank of India, will seek to compete with the established banks and are likely to offer higher remunerations to draw talent.
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