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After RBI governor, all eyes now on SBI’s next chief

business Updated: Aug 23, 2016 11:16 IST
Mahua Venkatesh
Mahua Venkatesh
Hindustan Times

SBI chairman, Arundhati Bhattacharya during the announcement of 2nd quarter financial results of the bank, in Mumbai, recently.(PTI)

After the announcement of Urjit Patel , as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India, all eyes are now on Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman, State Bank of India. Reportedly, in the running for the RBI top job, her term at SBI comes to an end in September. Sources said a final decision on Bhattacharya’s extension would be taken in the next couple of weeks. The decision will be taken jointly by the Bank Board Bureau and the finance ministry.

Bhattacharya, the first woman chief of SBI, has been instrumental in chalking out a growth path for the bank in difficult times and has sought to increase remunerations for bank employees. While she has been vocal about dealing with wilful defaulters, the merger of its associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the mother bank remains to completed. “No decision has been taken yet..we are looking into it, an extension for Bhattacharya is definitely being considered,” a senior government official who did not wish to be identified told Hindustan Times.

Insiders said that the banking industry with high non performing assets is going through a tough period. “Continuity of leadership is important and in other cases too, the performing chiefs of banks will be considered for extensions,” the official added.

Last year, the government for the first time, threw open its door to private sector executives to head large state owned lenders and Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda got their chiefs from among them.

Names of Anshula Kant, CFO, Dinesh Khara, at SBI, MD and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund and Praveen Kumar Gupta, MD, SBI are also being considered for the top post.

Read I Urjit Patel’s appointment as RBI guv signals change in govt approach