Seven government-owned banks are functioning without their chiefs and the term of three other CEOs will end by the middle of August creating a huge leadership void in state-run banks, this too at a time when most of them are grappling with bad loans.

Although the Banks Board Bureau has recommended a list 14 candidates for the post of CEOs at PSU banks, the government has not yet cleared the names of bank executives for the top jobs.

Bank of Baroda, Syndicate Bank and Indian Bank will lose their heads when their CEOs PS Jayakumar, Melwyn Rego and Kishor Kharat complete their three year-term by the middle of this month.

Last month end, Central Bank of India and Canara Bank lost their top bosses too. Rajeev Rishi, CEO of Central Bank of India, left the bank after completing his five-year term, while Rakesh Sharma of Canara Bank turned 60, the retirement age for a CEO in a PSU bank.

Rego and Kharat, who are close to 60 years, may not get an extension, although it is not clear if Jayakumar, who is 56, would be eligible for an extension or not. Also, since Rego and Kharat were named in an FIR in the Aircel-Maxis cases, the government may not give them an extension.

The CEO’s post at Bank of Maharashtra and Allahabad Bank has been vacant for different reasons. The government has divested the powers of both CEOs — RP Marathe and Usha Ananthasubramanium — following inquires by the investigative agencies.

The state police took Marathe and executive director RK Gupta into custody for a week after a real estate firm run by DS Kulkarni defaulted to depositors. Even though the cops did not find anything incriminating against Marathe and Gupta, the government directed the board to divest their powers.

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Similarly, the government also asked the Allahabad Bank board to strip the powers its CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian since she was named in the FIR (first information report) lodged by Punjab National Bank against Nirav Modi for the Rs 13,000 crore fraud. Although it is yet to establish anything against her, the government has directed the bank to take away Usha Ananthasubramanian powers as well as two of PNB’s executive directors — KV Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan.

Since April this year, there has been vacancies for the CEO’s post at Andhra Bank, Dena Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank.

“All of these banks have reported losses last fiscal year and the government should appoint their CEOs immediately so that they are given the responsibility to fix the banks,” said a bank analyst.

By September end, the term of B Sriram, CEO of IDBI Bank, who comes from State Bank of India, too will come to an end, and it isn’t clear if he would be given a longer run. Similarly, PK Bajaj of United Bank and RK Takkar of UCO Bank too would be ending their terms this year end.

The BBB has shortlisted 14 candidates for CEO post and six of them are from State Bank of India. It includes Padmaja Chandru, Mrutunjay Mohapatra, Pallav Mohapatra, J Packirisamy, Karnam Sekar and CV Nageswar.





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