Friday, July 19, 2024

Interview for SBI chairman’s post deferred

MUMBAI : The much-anticipated interview for the post of chairman at the State Bank of India (SBI) has hit an unexpected snag. Scheduled for Tuesday, the interview has now been postponed, according to two persons aware of the matter.

Late on Monday, SBI, the country’s biggest bank, received a notice about the deferral, with no new date provided for the interview, said one of persons who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

The reason behind this delay remains unclear.

The Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB), an autonomous body under the central government, was scheduled to conduct interviews on Tuesday to recommend a candidate for the chairman’s post.

Incumbent Dinesh Kumar Khara retires on 28 August and the next chairman is supposed to take charge the same day.

The front runners for the post are State Bank of India’s three managing directors—C.S. Setty, Ashwini Kumar Tewari and Vinay M. Tonse. Alok Kumar Choudhary, the fourth managing director, is set to retire end of June.

Headed by Bhanu Pratap Sharma, former secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the FSIB is responsible for appointing senior executives to public sector financial institutions. 

The recommendations go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, led by the prime minister, for final approval.

The appointment of a new chairman comes at a time when SBI’s financial performance has vastly improved.

“Khara’s main achievement is that he has been able to improve the financial performance of the bank. Since he took charge as chairman, the share price has zoomed from 250 levels to 820 per share,” said a former senior SBI official. “While he may not have been perceived to done anything innovative, Khara did a commendable job in these uncertain times.”

The bank posted record net profit of 20,698 crore at the end of March 2024. Asset quality is the best in nine years, with net non-performing assets as a percentage of total assets coming in at 0.57% of total assets, compared to 1.23% when Khara took charge. SBI’s bad loan portfolio stood at 84,276 crore at the end of March 2024.

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Published: 21 May 2024, 10:35 AM IST

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