Nearly 3,00,000 bankers in public and private sector banks refused work on Tuesday across the nation protesting merger of 10 government banks into four, affecting normal banking operations, claimed All India Bank Employees' Union (AIBEA).
According to AIBEA, clearing of cheques were affected as cheques could not be collected by banks and sent for clearance to the National Payment Corporation.
Government treasury transactions were also affected.
The bankers also demand recovery of bad loans and strong action against loan defaulters.
The strike call was given by two unions - All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI).
In a statement issued here, the AIBEA announced the large scale protest against the closedown of six important nationalized banks i.e. Andhra Bank, Allahabad Bank, Corporation Bank, Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India.
"Merger of banks is totally unwarranted in India as we need more banking services and opening of more branches to serve the people. The merger has so far resulted in the closure of branches and hence it is a wrong policy," CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA said in the statement.
"Recovery of the huge bad loans is the top priority for the banks and merger of banks will change the priority. Hence merger is a bad idea," AIBEA said.