The Merger Games: Imagining banking after Amalgamation.

So what might be the scenario in the Indian Banking sector after the government completes it’s game and scheme of Mergers and Amalgamations?

While we are busy giving our reactions to the recent announcements and news about experiments in the banking sector, it would be interesting to imagine the fate of Indian banking system from a banker’s point of view. For the sake of better layout, we have discussed the possible scenarios in different points here under.

Please note that all the following descriptions are purely based on imagination and guesswork, and in no sense relate to the real world happenings.

Scenario 1: All Banks have been merged or amalgamated into 3-4 Banks. Or New Brands in the Market

Welcome to the Indian Banking Industry Vol. 2.

Here, Banks have been merged so as to serve the purpose of the Governments. There are strict restrictions on any profit-making moves. We are the hybrid banking companies that are actively or primarily involved in:

  • Government Sponsored schemes [because hum sarkari bank hain]
  • Aadhar, Voter Card, Pan Card making factories [Aadhar le-lo, Ticket le-lo, insurance le-lo]
  • Record breaking loss-showing Balance sheets [Bank ko profit kyu chahiye]
  • Part time work as CBI, Election Commission, Data Collectors, Post office, and God knows what more!! [Jaisi Government ki marzi]

Scenario 2: Banks have turned into Profit making broker firms. Or Profit by Hook or Crook!

Hello, this is the new age banking, characterized by digital banking and customer-oriented products. Government has left the targets of social banking to specialized agencies that offer commission to banks for achieving targets. Since the customers are no longer required to visit the branches for every simple task, what should banks do with the massive workforce that has continued from the older system?

Here is the new picture:

  • Banking means marketing now. [ganda hai par dhanda hai ye]
  • Bankers are forced to become insurance agents, valuers, legal experts, wealth managers etc [banking kisko chahiye agar third party products se profit ho jaye]
  • Main job profile of a banker- sales and marketing. [we want Rocket Singh- Salesman of the year]

Scenario 3: The Contractual Banking. Or Call-Center Banking system.

Namaste. This is the contract banking age. The number of banks are of no concern here. Job of a banker is not a permanent one. Bank jobs function on a simple funda now, you exist so long you can sell.

The condition of the bankers is as follows:

  • Banking jobs are no longer characterized by handsome pay-package. [Sale he to karni hai]
  • There are no long term bonding of employees or brand loyalty that binds one to the mother company. [Na baap bada na bhaiya, sabse bada rupaiya]
  • Banking industry becomes one of the most volatile industry with frequent entry and exit of bankers. [Majboori ka naam Mahatma Gandhi]
  • Banking Unions and Associations have become more like consultancy units, arranging more flexible staff as per the needs of the companies. [Banking matrimony]

The above scenario might seem pessimistic but it is hard for today’s banker to think of a bright future for banking in India. Mergers & Acquisitions, Experimentation and relentless pursuit of goals that are detrimental to banks itself, leave a common banker with nothing but a delusional picture of the Indian Banking system.

While it would be interest to witness the changing trajectory of the banking industry, the whole process seems to be painful and scarring. What we can best do is hope for the changes to be beneficial to all, in general, and bankers in particular.

Till then, Take care dear friends.

A fellow banker.

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