Private sector execs give top slots at PSU banks a miss

  • Mahua Venkatesh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2015 23:57 IST

There have been no takers from the private sector for the top position in leading public sector banks, including Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Canara Bank and IDBI Bank.

The government, which opened the doors to private sector executives to take over as chiefs in public sector banks, has got a lukewarm response for the same. The finance ministry is now looking to relax the eligibility criteria for applicants, including lowering the age criteria, and even doing away with the requirement for experience as a board member.

“The finance ministry is looking to relax the eligibility criteria soon... the criteria may have been a little stiff, which acted as a dampening factor,” a senior finance ministry official told HT.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), which approved the criteria and method of selection earlier this year, said candidates should have at least 15 years of mainstream banking experience, of which a minimum three should be at the board level.

In a notification, the finance ministry said salaries would be “flexible” and candidates should be in the age group of 45 to 55 years. They would have a fixed tenure of three years, subject to the normal age of superannuation of 60 years.

The government’s move to appoint private sector executives at the top posts in public sector banks comes at a time when the banking sector has seen a surge in non-performing assets — loans that do not yield returns — and slowing credit demand. While state-owned banks have been hiring talent from outside for various other roles, the top slot was always reserved for insiders.

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