Senior ICICI Bank(er) frontrunner for top SIB post?

KOCHI: The wait is on for the decision on new chief for South Indian Bank (SIB) …now who will fill the MD’s shoes?

The market is agog with different rumours, but the one that found more takers is that a senior executive from ICICI Bank, the largest private sector lender in the country, is said to be among the frontrunners in the race to take the helm of SIB, the nonagenarian bank.

According to sources close to banking circles in Mumbai, Murali Ramakrishnan, a senior general manager with ICICI Bank, has been tipped for the position, but the sources insisted that this is not official and RBI will take the final call on the decision.

The sources close to SIB denied any knowledge of the development. Even has not been able to officially confirm this.

According to a statement released by South Indian Bank two days ago, the board has shortlisted two names that have already been sent to RBI for its consideration. The present MD & chief executive is scheduled to complete the current term in September, 2020.

Calls to people connected with SIB – top officials and directors, yielded no confirmation on the names shortlisted for the post. Most of them never bothered to pick the call, or dodged the query on this particular issue.

The past 18 years saw officials from public sector banks (PSBs) head SIB, with the present MD & chief executive officer, VG Mathew, a former SBI general manager, being at the wheel for the past six years.

Large bad loans have been the intractable pain point of SIB for the past few years that despite continuous reporting of profit quarter after quarter, the market has been unsympathetic to the bank share with the price failing to capture even a decent fraction of the book value at least during the past more than a year.

Thrissur, the ‘banking capital’ of the state harbours four bank headquarters – SIB, CSB Bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank and ESAF Small Finance Bank (ESAF SFB).

While three banks are already listed on stock markets, ESAF SFB has already commenced the initial process for an IPO to be followed by listing.







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