Dhanlaxmi Bank chief now gets the boot
Less than a week after shareholders of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) voted out seven directors, another top honcho of a private sector bank faced a similar fate.
On Wednesday, shareholders of Thrissur-based Dhanlaxmi Bank ousted managing director and chief executive officer Sunil Gurbaxani, a little more than seven months after he assumed the post. Gurbaxani came to the bank with more than three decades of banking experience with State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (which was merged with SBI) and Axis Bank.
Reasons for the no-confidence shown by shareholders in Gurbaxani could not be ascertained. Some believe his strategy of expanding in the northern parts of the country did not find favour with a section of the investors.
There were rumblings ahead of the shareholders meeting with bank unions — the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) and the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) — flagging concerns over a few developments at the private sector bank even as they sought immediate corrective measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
In a letter written to RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, the AIBOC had requested the central bank to take appropriate steps so that the 93-year-old institution was allowed to grow by catering to its own niche segments.
In a separate letter, the AIBEA had urged the governor to intervene into the affairs of the bank, which it alleged was heading in the wrong direction.
“Attempts are again being made to open more branches in northern states, while the bank has inadequate infrastructure to manage the business in those areas.
“Efforts are afoot to appoint a large number of sales executives and senior executives on contractual and cost-to-company basis at a much higher remuneration. This will land the bank in a catastrophe and financial burden which, we apprehend, the bank cannot afford at this juncture,” C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA said.