The Banks Board Bureau headed by former CAG Vinod Rai today interviewed four candidates for the SBI chairman’s post, which will fall vacant after the retirement of Arundhati Bhattacharya in October. The four SBI managing directors were interviewed by three sub-committees under the BBB, sources said. B Sriram, the bank’s senior most managing director, along with three others Rajnish Kumar, P K Gupta and Dinesh Kumar Khara faced the panel, sources said. Of these four, P K Gupta and Dinesh Kumar Khara have relatively higher tenure left in the bank, while both Rajnish Kumar and Sriram’s retirement is due in 2018. Bhattacharya will complete her four-year term as the chairperson of SBI on October 6.
Appointed in 2013, as the bank’s first female chairperson, she got one-year extension in October 2016 as SBI was to merge its associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself. The SBI’s chairman post now assumes more significance as the bank’s merger with six other entities has taken it into the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT), besides BMB, merged with SBI with effect from April 1. The process of integration would at least take a year.
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The government had in February approved the merger of these five associate banks with SBI. Later in March, the Cabinet approved the merger of BMB as well. SBI first merged State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later, State Bank of Indore was merged. For the fourth quarter ended March 2017, the bank reported more than doubling of its net profit on the back of increased lending and reduction in provisioning for bad loans. Net profit of the bank on standalone basis rose to Rs 2,814.82 crore for the March quarter as against Rs 1,263.81 crore in the same period of previous fiscal 2015-16. For the entire fiscal ended March 2017, the net profit of the bank improved by 5.36 per cent to Rs 10,484 crore as against Rs 9,951 crore in the previous fiscal.