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Bank employees also suffer from meager wages despite industry’s profitability

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bank employees also suffer from meager wages despite industry’s profitability
“We, bank employees, are victims of meager wages despite the fact that the banking industry is one of the most profitable in the country,” Raymund Acenia, president of the Hongkong Bank Independent Labor Union
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com
 
MANILA — For banking employees, their airconditioned working areas, nice uniforms and, perhaps, the mere fact that they are working in a lucrative industry, do not mean that they do not share the same plight as any other rank and file employee or Filipino worker.

“We, bank employees, are victims of meager wages despite the fact that the banking industry is one of the most profitable in the country,” Raymund Acenia, president of the Hongkong Bank Independent Labor Union, a rank and file union at the Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation, said.
Acenia, in an interview with Bulatlat.com, said that their meager income as rank and file employees does not keep pace with the increasing prices of staple food, transportation costs, among others.

Mark Gonzales, president of the Planters Development Bank Employees Association, a rank and file union at the Planters Development Bank where he is a credit investigator for 15 years, half wishes he could file and approve his own loan. He added that most of their members are deeply in debt, which is “ironic because we are working where the money is concentrated.”

“Our salaries do not reflect the state of our company’s earnings, considering that the banking industry is one of the most profitable industries today,” Gonzales said.

For one, a national daily reported that last year (2010) was considered as the “banner year” for the Philippine banking industry as “universal and commercial banks yielded a significant rise in profits” with a combined net income amounting to $1.94 million last year, 31 percent higher than in 2009. One of the largest banks in the country, the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metro Bank) raked in a 39 percent growth in their net profit, which is equivalent to about $195 million. Other banks such as Union Bank and Philippine Savings Bank also declared an increase in their net income by 24 percent, or about $12.4 million, and 46 percent, or about $40.54 million, respectively.

There seems to be no end in sight yet for the continuing increasing profits of the banking industry as Nestor Espenilla Jr., deputy governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said in a report.

Yet, banking employees such as Acenia and Gonzales could not help but wonder what the future holds for them as outsourcing and contractualization threats continue to loom, especially with the BSP Circular No. 268 and its succeeding circulars.

Outsourcing
 
The BSP Circular No. 268 lists the positions and functions that can be outsourced, as approved by the Monetary Board.

“No bank or any director, officer, employee, or agent thereof shall outsource inherent banking functions,” Section 2.1 of the said circular read. Subject to prior approval of the Monetary Board, however, “banks may outsource all information technology systems and processes.”.... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/20/bank-employees-also-suffer-from-meager-wages-despite-industrys-profitability/

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