Rajnish Kumar was on Wednesday appointed chairman of the largest public sector bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), replacing Arundhati Bhattacharya, who completes her one-year extended term on Friday.
Mr. Kumar, who is now the managing director of the SBI, faces the daunting task of addressing the issue of huge non-performing assets (NPA) of the bank.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Mr. Kumar’s appointment for three years from the date of taking charge on or after October 7, said an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Mr. Kumar, aged 59, joined the SBI board on May 26, 2015.
Prior to this appointment, he was Managing Director — Compliance and Risk, and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBI Capital Markets Limited, the merchant banking arm of the SBI, according to his official biodata.
Mr. Kumar has also worked as Chief General Manager, Project Finance and Leasing Strategic Business Unit, it said.
He has held several key assignments across various business verticals, including two overseas assignments in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Ms. Bhattacharya became the first woman chairperson of the SBI in 2013. She was given a year’s extension in October last to ensure continuity, as the SBI was then in the process of absorbing five associate banks.
Associate banks merge with SBI
State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore and Bharatiya Mahila Bank merged with the SBI on April 1, 2017.
Gross NPAs of the public sector banks rose to ₹6.41 lakh crore at the end of March 2017, against ₹5.02 lakh crore a year ago, according to a Finance Ministry data.
The SBI and its erstwhile associates alone wrote off ₹27,574 crore NPAs in 2016-17, according to an RBI data