Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Top positions at 8 state-run banks to be vacant soon; four operating without heads

Mumbai, May 21: It has come to light that top positions at 12 state-run banks will be vacated soon, leaving the government with a tough task of filling the slots. While top position holders at eight state-run banks are on the brink of an exit, four others are operating presently without a head, reported The Economic Times. The report, quoting senior officials, suggested that this is the first time such a large number of positions will become vacant. 

At a time when banks in the country have been crippled by rising bad loans and gigantic frauds, the government would be looking to expedite the process of filling up the top positions, as leaving them vacant may lead to more internal errors. However, the process of hiring will not be easy, considering the strict regulations or guidelines introduced by the RBI in light of the recent Rs 13,600 crore Punjab National Bank scam. 

Soon after the incident came to light, scrutinising the banking and financial sector shed light on the involvement of senior bankers in scams. According to the report, Dena Bank, Andhra Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank have been operating without an head since the beginning of this calendar year, while Allahabad Bank lost its head Usha Ananthsubramanian, after a CBI chargesheet named her for involvement in PNB or Nirav Modi scam. 

Among others, Bank of Baroda CEO PS Jayakumar is also on the verge of retirement as he will be completing the three-year term this year. Likewise, Central Bank of India CEO and MD Rajeev Rishi is going to complete his five-year term and sources told ET that he is unlikely to get an extension. 

Others whose terms have ended include Canara Bank’s Rakesh Sharma, Indian Bank’s Kishor Karat and Melwyn Rego of Syndicate Bank and PK Bajaj of UBI and RK Takka of UCO Bank. The ET report suggested that there are 19 executive directors available to fill the 12 top slots at different PSUs. 

A senior official told the publication that those (executive directors) who have completed a year plus an additional two years are eligible for the post of CEO. It should be noted that the cut-off date for applying was April 1, 2018. Besides the government-run banks, there are two key positions that are lying vacant – the MD of State Bank of India and Deputy Governor at RBI. 

This government faces a rather difficult task in selecting the heads due to the strict guidelines introduced after a flurry of scams were uncovered. At least 11 such banks are facing restrictions from the RBI due to poor performance – based on an increase in bad loans in the past two years. 

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