The bank board bureau and the government may consider giving an extension to State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya, who completes her three year tenure as the chief in September. Sources said that the bank is going through a “crucial phase” and is gearing up to take over its subsidiaries and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank. Bhattacharya, who has been driving the bank for the last three years, may be given an extension for a few months to ensure a smooth transition.
A final decision would be taken only after two months based on a thorough assessment of the situation. No “outsider” will be brought in to head the bank, an official source who did not wish to be identified told Hindustan Times.
“Extension (of Bhattacharya) will be considered..there is no decision on the issue as yet and only preliminary talks have on the issue (of the post) have been held,” the source said. Bhattacharya was the first woman chief of the bank.
“She has been dynamic in her performance and has managed things very well especially at a time when the industry is going through a tough phase with non performing assets surging to alarming levels,” he added. Bhattacharya is also known for being vocal against willful defaulters including Vijay Mallya, promoter of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Sources added that Bhattacharya will bag “a respectable and responsible” position after her innings with SBI.
Last year, the government for the first time, threw its doors open to private sector executives to head large state owned lenders and Canara Bank and Bank of Baroda got their chiefs from the private sector.
Names of Anshula Kant, CFO, SBI; Dinesh Khara, MD and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund and Praveen Kumar Gupta, MD, SBI are also being considered for the top post.