Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as the next chairman of State Bank of India, PTI reported on Wednesday. He will take over from Arundhati Bhattacharya, whose term will end on Friday.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Kumar for a period of three years from October 7, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
Kumar, aged 59 years, joined the SBI board on May 26, 2015. Kumar has also worked as Chief General Manager, Project Finance and Leasing Strategic Business Unit. 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 SBI, PTI reported.
He has held several key assignments across various business verticals, including two overseas assignments in Canada and the UK.
According to his profile on the SBI webiste, Kumar has a master’s degree in physics and listed travelling and playing badminton among his interests.
Kumar will have to shoulder the daunting task of addressing the issue of huge NPAs of the bank. A large number of banks are facing the issue of the non-performing assets.
In 2013, Bhattacharya became the bank’s first woman chairman. She was given a year’s extension in October last year to ensure continuity as the SBI was then in the process of absorbing five associate banks.
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 SBI on April 1, 2017.
Gross NPAs of the public sector banks rose to Rs 6.41 lakh crore at the end of March 2017 as against Rs 5.02 lakh crore a year ago, according to a Finance Ministry data. SBI and its erstwhile associates alone wrote off Rs 27,574 crore NPAs in 2016-17, according to an RBI data.