The public sector banks hired 2,97,896 staff between April, 2009 and August, 2013, the IBA said, while refuting the reports that banks have gone slow or are not hiring at all.

"Banks are periodically making manpower assessment and recruiting personnel based on vacancies caused by superannuation, attrition, expansion of branches etc," IBA Deputy Chief Executive K Unnikrishnan said.

He said the 73,258 employees were hired in FY 2013, while for the period between April and August 2013, the state-run banks hired 52,348 people, indicating a surge in hiring activity.

A bulk of the hiring was at the clerical level, with 1,74,786 people being recruited during the four years and five months period, the IBA said, adding there were 28,467 hiring in the "sub-staff' category as well.

The National Organisation of Bank Workers had earlier this month alleged that the recruitment process in the banking sector has almost come to a standstill.

The data comes in the backdrop of a slew of estimates about the growth in banking sector, and the demand for additional manpower thereof.

According to a study done by trade lobby Assocham in September 2013, the banks will need up to 8 lakh personnel in the next six years. It estimated that state-run lenders will alone hire 50,000 personnel in FY 2014.

The National Organisation of Bank Workers had also demanded an immediate reconstitution of the Banking Services Recruitment Board (BSRB), which got abolished in 2005, to help solve the problems of the sector.

The IBA, however, has out rightly rejected this demand. "With regard to revival of the BSRB, we wish to state that after abolishing BSRB, the current arrangement of recruitment through the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) by conducting common written examination is working well and there is no need to revive BSRB," Unnikrishnan added.)

(Agencies)

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