Around 8 lakh public sector bank staff joined a strike on Friday called by the United Forum of Banks Unions against the merger of the State Bank of India and its associated banks. The UFBU, an umbrella organisation, held talks with the Indian Banks Association on Tuesday, but their demands were not met, IANS reported.

SBI released a statement saying, "The All India State Bank Officers’ Federation and the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation are members of UFBU. Thus, it is likely that the bank will also be impacted to some extent by the said strike calls." The strike is expected to affect everyday services such as deposits, withdrawals and cheque clearance.

The unions have been protesting against Foreign Direct Investment in and the privatisation of the sector, and demanding that private capital be increased in public sector banks, PTI reported.