By Elton Gomes
The government on Wednesday appointed the heads of 10 nationalised banks. Most of the posts were vacant for several months, thus affecting crucial decision making at the top levels in the banks that have been struggling with bad loans and huge losses.
The appointments have been approved by the cabinet committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The appointments were finalised two months after they were recommended by the Banks Board Bureau, an advisory body formed by the government for top level appointments in banks.
Who all have been appointed?
Mrutyunjay Mahapatra and Padmaja Chunduru, who are currently deputy managing directors in State Bank of India (SBI), have been appointed as managing director and chief executive officer of Syndicate Bank and Indian Bank, respectively. Both Mahapatra and Chundru will work in their new positions till the date of their superannuation, i.e. May 31, 2020, and August 31, 2021, respectively.
Three other deputy managing directors from the SBI — Pallav Mohapatra, J. Packirisamy, and Karnam Shekhar — have been appointed as MD and CEO of Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank, and Dena Bank, respectively.
Mohapatra previously took charge as CEO of SBI Cards & Payment Services and succeeded Kadambi Narahari in December 2012.
In addition, S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao has been appointed MD and CEO of Allahabad Bank for an initial period of three years. Rao’s tenure can be extended up to the date of his superannuation, i.e. January 31, 2022. Currently the Executive Director of Syndicate Bank, Rao has been a professional banker for more than 33 years. He has held several key positions such as General Manager and CFO in Oriental Bank of Commerce and Assistant Vice-President in erstwhile Global Trust Bank.
A. S. Rajeev, the present Executive Director of Indian Bank, has been named MD and CEO of Bank of Maharashtra for a period of three years initially, and his tenure could be extended to up to two years after “review of his performance”, the government notification said.
Furthermore, Atul Kumar Goel has been appointed as MD in UCO Bank, while S. Harisankar will take charge as CEO of Punjab & Sind Bank. At the moment, Goel is the executive director at Union Bank of India, and Harisankar occupies the same position at Allahabad Bank.
Ashok Kumar Pradhan has been appointed as MD and CEO of United Bank of India. Pradhan currently is the executive director at the same bank. Hailing from Cuttack, Pradhan began his banking career as a probationary officer in State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur. He has handled several important assignments as Controller and Zonal Head and has also taken on the roles of Zonal Head and Deputy General Manager (Credit) at State Bank of Hyderabad.
Why was the decision taken?
The move to make the new appointments is being seen as the government’s attempts to help the other banks in dealing with non-performing assets.
Public Sector Banks in India have a bad track record
For a long time, public sector banks (PSBs) were the lifeline of the Indian banking and financial systems and offered extensive services to people spread across the country. However, the recent situation of PSBs seems grim. Many PSBs seem to be in bad shape currently and have lost several customers due to the emergence of new private banks. Rising non-performing assets have acted as a constant wake-up call for the government. An overall change in the governance structure is the need of the hour, to make PSBs more competitive.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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