Image makeover of govt banks on top of bank board agenda

  • Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2016 18:04 IST
Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai. (HT Archive)

The newly formed bank board bureau (BBB), headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Vinod Rai, will immediately focus on reinventing the image of public sector banks.

One of the thrust areas for the BBB will be recruitment and the doors may be open to talent from the private sector, an official source told HT.

With about 100,000 employees to retire from banks in the next year, talent crunch is set to hit the functioning of these lenders, which are struggling with a pile of non-performing assets (NPA)—loans that do not yield returns.

“A large number of senior people will be retiring from our banks and this is an issue…we are looking into it. The BBB will have to come up with a prescription on this,” the source said. The total public sector bank workforce is about 900,000.

While the government is keen to hire from college campuses, bank unions have shown stiff resistance to the proposed move. Bank officials may also be allowed to apply for jobs in other state-owned lenders, a move that will give more flexibility and growth opportunities to the employees.

Besides these issues, the BBB will work closely with these banks to work out strategies for their growth and expansion.

Earlier, State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya underlined the need to provide better remuneration to attract talent and that said state-owned bank employees are poorly paid compared to their private counterparts.

Performance linked incentives, out-of-turn promotions, assignment of special projects, fancy postings are some of the measures that public sector bank chiefs are adopting to retain talent at a time when competition is fierce in the banking space.

Banks have already been hiring specialists for risk management, policy framing and other roles on contract for a limited period of time at a salary comparable to the private sector.

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