FSIB to conduct interviews for SBI chairman's position on June 29

The role of the FSIB is to recommend a candidate, and the final decision will be taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.
SBI (Photo | File/Reuters)
SBI (Photo | File/Reuters)

MUMBAI: The Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) will conduct the interviews for the next State Bank of India chairman on June 29, which were originally scheduled for May 21-22 but were called off abruptly, a person familiar with the matter has said.

The incumbent chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara is retiring on August 28, when he turns 63, after his extension last October 7. He was appointed the chairman of the nation’s largest bank on October 7, 2020.

The role of the FSIB is to recommend a candidate, and the final decision will be taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.

“The new date for the interviews to select the next SBI chairman is slated for June 29. Only three managing directors of the bank are in the race," the person told the TNIE on Wednesday.

The three senior-most managing directors (MDs) of the SBI are C.S. Setty, Ashwini Kumar Tewari, and Vinay M. Tonse. The senior-most MD, Alok Kumar Choudhary, is not eligible for the interview as he is retiring by June 30. The norm is that an MD must have three years of service left to be eligible to attend the interview.

The top SBI management is headed by the chairman and four MDs. The FSIB has already recommended the name of Rana Ashutosh Kumar Singh as a managing director of SBI, but he is not eligible for the interview as he has yet to assume charge, which will happen on June 30 only.

The second-rung management consists of around a dozen deputy managing directors (DMDs) and dozens of chief general managers (CGMs). DMDs and CGMs are respectively eligible to become MDs and DMDs. All the heads of SBI subsidiaries like SBI Life, SBI General, SBI Caps, and SBI Cards are headed by persons with DMD ranks in the bank.

Traditionally, and also by the SBI Act mandate, the SBI chairman is appointed from the serving managing directors, though there were a couple of exceptions to this in the past. The first instance was in 1985 when the government appointed D.N. Ghosh, an Indian Audit & Account Services officer, as the chairman for a four-year term. Another occasion was when M.N. Goiporia, a career banker from the Central Bank of India, came on board as chairman in February 1990, but his stint lasted for about 2.5 years until the end of July 1992.

Since then, internal candidates, starting with Dipankar Basu in February 1993, have occupied the corner room on the 18th floor of the SBI Bhavan in Nariman Point.

The FSIB is an autonomous body responsible for making recommendations to appoint senior executives to public sector financial institutions. Established in 2022, the bureau is headed by Bhanu Pratap Sharma, the former secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training, as its chairman, with the secretaries of the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Public Enterprises serving as its members, along with three outside expert members.

The FSIB is also mandated to recommend the CMDs of all the state-run general insurers and the chairman and the four managing directors of LIC.

Khara joined the SBI in 1984 as a probationary officer. A postgraduate in commerce, he holds an MBA in finance from Delhi University's Faculty of Management Studies.

Under him, SBI reported the highest-ever quarterly profit and also became the most profitable company in the March quarter, booking Rs 20,698 crore—way ahead of the traditionally most profitable Reliance’s Rs 18,951 crore and almost 40 percent more than the immediate peer HDFC Bank at Rs 16,512 crore. The bank also reported the lowest gross bad loan pile at 2.24 percent in the past 10 years.

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