SBI managing director B Sriram has resigned from the country's largest lender after his appointment as chief executive of IDBI Bank, sources said.
SBI managing director B Sriram has resigned from the country’s largest lender after his appointment as chief executive of IDBI Bank, sources said. The development assumes significance amid reports that insurance behemoth LIC is mulling acquiring a majority stake in the debt ridden state-owned bank. The government last week appointed Sriram as managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank for a temporary period of three months. He has put in his papers and his resignation from the board of SBI has been forward to Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for acceptance, sources said, adding the competent authority will take a final call on the matter.
Sriram took charge of IDBI Bank on June 22 following M K Jain demitting office to take over as Deputy Governor of RBI. The ACC approved the appointment of Sriram as MD and CEO of IDBI Bank for three months with effect from M K Jain’s demitting office, said an order issued last week by the Department of Personnel and Training.
LIC is looking to enter the banking space by acquiring majority stake in IDBI Bank as the deal is expected to provide business synergies despite the lender’s stressed balance sheet. A possible scenario would be the insurance major making IDBI Bank a subsidiary on the lines of its housing finance and mutual fund businesses.
If the deal goes through, IDBI Bank would shed the character of public sector bank and become a private sector lender like Axis Bank. As per the Companies Act 2013, the upper age limit for MD and CEO in the private sector is 70 years. Earlier this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the government’s decision on privatisation of IDBI Bank stands and it will be implemented at the right time.
In his Budget speech for 2016-17, Jaitley had said the process of transformation of IDBI Bank has already started. “Government will take it forward and also consider the option of reducing its stake to below 50 per cent,” he had said. Sriram is the longest-serving public sector bank MD and has wide experience, including in stressed assets management.
IDBI Bank is grappling with mounting toxic loans with gross non-performing assets rising to a staggering Rs 55,600 crore at the end of latest March quarter. During the three months, the lender’s net loss stood at Rs 5,663 crore. Sriram worked as the MD (Corporate and Global Banking) in SBI since July 2014.
He had been Managing Director of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur. Sriram joined the government-run bank in 1981 as a Probationary Officer. During over three-decade-long career, he held several positions and also had a stint at SBI’s Singapore office.