Archbishop of the Thrissur Archdiocese, Mar Andrews Tazhath, came out openly against the merger for the first time at a meeting convened by the Citizens Forum of Thrissur on Wednesday.
CSB is the bank of Thrissur and was established for the development of the district, the archbishop said in his inaugural address. The identity of the bank should be protected at any cost, he said, adding that the Church would go to any extreme to do this. R Bindu, the Mayor of Thrissur, moved a resolution to protest the merger, which was accepted unanimously.
Meanwhile, the bank board is unlikely to decide on the merger in Fridays meeting with threats of protests brewing. It is said that a majority of board members are in favour of the merger as Surachan Chansri Chawla, a Bangkok-based Indian businessman, who holds 27 per cent stake in the bank, is ready to sell this to Federal Bank.
There is also seen to be heavy political pressure on the CSB board as the parliamentary elections are around the corner. As the Church has a major say in the election in the Thrissur constituency, all political parties would seek favour with the Church.
Some believe that a merger move is only likely after the elections though the board will discuss it seriously now. There is also an effort to mobilise a movement in favour of the merger, especially with the support of CSB employees.