PSU Banking 2.0: Merge & Surge
Banking Frontiers|October 2020
PSU Banking 2.0: Merge & Surge
In the second in a series of web panel discussions organized by Banking Frontiers on the themes of amalgamation and lockdown, senior executives of public sector banks share new insights.
Manoj Agrawal

We are engaged but not yet married’ is how Pravin Sharma, General Manager - IT, Union Bank of India, described the status of the 3-way merger of the bank with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, adding there has to be a lot of preparations to me made for the integration of the IT departments of the 3 banks. “We have achieved a lot in terms of HR, regional offices, administration offices, field general offices and reorganization of corporate verticals. However, currently IT is in discussion stage on how it can be taken forward. Studies have been going on and service providers have been onboarded about migrating the core. Core is only one piece of IT. Channels are much more important and risk also arises there, including customer issues. We have gone through each application in terms of customer and IT perspectives and finalized what functions will be there in the merged entity. It may take some time,” he says.

Reiterating that amalgamation from IT perspective is key, Sharma said existing systems and services have to remain and in parallel, one has to do reorganization of products. Besides, core banking migration is a big task and UAT will change the game.

CLOUD INVESTMENT PAYOFF

Amol Pai, CTO, State Bank of India, states that the pandemic is more exciting than amalgamation. “The struggle is to make technology continue the way you want it to work. The lockdown kept getting extended. We focused on keeping the lights on. We moved teams into 3 different locations and ensured that they do not mix with each other. Then, we enabled them to work from home. First, we enabled the production teams, and then the changed the bank teams. Most MNCs and IT companies had a WFH policy, but only as exceptions,” he said. He said the data centers set up by the bank are fairly rigid and during pandemic, flexibility was required. Also, there was always a scare about cloud. “We now understand that the pandemic has erased that as long as you put your controls in place. So, the investments in the last 2-3 years in cloud have paid off in the 6 months. We can hive off certain zones to fintechs,” he says.

Amol Pai also states that the bank has always focused on improving CX. “The pandemic has brought in one change in digitization – the CX for the bank employee has improved. The screens have become less cumbersome,” says he.

IMPORTANCE OF USE CASE

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October 2020