The country's second largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has decided to reward over 80,000 of its frontline employees with a salary hike of up to 8 per cent, sources said on Tuesday. These employees form over 80 per cent of its overall workforce and the decision has been taken in recognition of the services rendered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sources told PTI. The hike of up to 8 per cent is for the fiscal year 2020-21 and applicable from July onwards, the sources said. An e-mail sent to the bank did not elicit any response. The sources said these employees are from M1 and grades below, who are frontline staff mostly in customer-facing roles. They ensure the functioning of branches and other operations of the bank. It can be noted that the development comes at a time when a slew of organisations have been forced to stall salary hikes or even cut salaries as they seek to get some control over costs. Reducing costs has become imperative because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in lockdowns across the country since late-March and has disrupted economic activities. ICICI Bank had reported a 26 per cent surge in its March quarter net at Rs 1,221 crore on a standalone basis.