Central bankers plan a cave tour

Posted on February 10, 2010 | View 1014 | Comment : 3

artical Picture If you plan to go sightseeing to Elephanta caves in the Arabian sea, off Mumbai harbour, this weekend, you may bump into a star cast of central bankers from across the world. The Reserve Bank, which is hosting its first International Research Conference, plans to take delegates — central bankers and regulators — to the famed caves this Saturday afternoon, after the conclusion of the seminar. Among the top officials that we could see is John Lipskey, First MD, IMF, Prof Benjamin Friedman of Harvard University and a host of governors from major Asian and European central banks, besides, the governor of Australian central bank. Interestingly, there is no representative from People’s Bank of China in the list of speakers.

When it comes to appointment of top management of public sector banks, the government keeps tweaking the rules of the game. Earlier, the ministry had said that only those executive directors who have at least two years of residual service and one year of service as ED will qualify to be promoted as chairman. This requirement resulted in a number of EDs losing out, as they did not have two years of residual service. A few weeks ago, the residual service was lowered to 1 year and 9 months. And now the latest buzz is that it is being further reduced to 1 year and 6 months. The appointment panel will interview 14 EDs for the post of chairman of public sector banks and 42 general managers for ED position on February 16 & 17 in New Delhi. However, this time around, four general managers who were cleared in 2009 for the post of ED have been asked to reappear for interviews along with the new batch of GMs.

It is not just for the bankers that the government has been changing the appointment rules. Most regulators in the financial sector are appointed for a term of five years and usually retire at 65. This was also the case for the last chairman of the Pension Fund and Regulatory Development Authority where the earlier chairman, D Swarup, was appointed for a five-year term. However, the government seems to be wanting to keep its options open with the new chairman. According to sources, the next appointment, which in all likelihood will be Yogesh Agarwal of IDBI Bank, will be for a tenure of two years.

Life insurance companies are getting too big for their present offices. ICICI Prudential, the largest private life company which has its own building, is now wondering whether to redevelop the place and take advantage of the higher FSI allowed by local authorities. HDFC Standard Life, which shifted to Andheri-Kurla Road from the Bandra-Kurla Complex several years ago, is thinking of moving again as its space requirement has gone up. According to sources, the company is talks for an office property in Parel in Central Mumbai.

Axis Bank, which has been looking out for a premise that can house all its head office departments, has finalised a deal with Bombay Dyeing. The company has bought 4 lakh square feet of office space at Rs 16,000 psf near Parel in Central Mumbai. This appears to be a much cheaper deal than Rs 211 crore that SBI Life paid for Rs 1.42 lakh square feet on Andheri-Kurla Road which works out to nearly Rs 15,000 per square foot.

Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, the head of commercial banking in Barclays, has put in her papers. Rumours are that she is joining a leading private sector bank in a senior position. She is currently on gardening leave. Incidentally, the fate of some of the other senior management officials would be more clearer in the next few weeks. With the global changes, which have been now put in place, both commercial and retail operations of the bank have now started reporting to Barclays Corporate. Staffers here, like globally, are waiting for the bonus announcements that should happen in the next couple of weeks.

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Comments (3)

  • I dont really understand what for this is posted. As a interested person any body whether connected to banking or not can attend depending on the individual conveniences and the organisers.

    Posted by Venkata Durga Prasad Popuri,Dean ( I/C) at NNR School of Management|11 Feb, 2010

  • thanks for the mail, but it has not been mentioned as who can go for this tour and how, when and where to report for this event.

    Posted by kamal vyas , computer operator at uco bank | 10 Feb, 2010

  • Thanks for the mail and congratulations for organising such an event. I am sorry and will not be able to attend the event but please try to explore as to how and in what way banking institution came into being in the event. If found difficult please contact me again to know more about the banking. As per written history nothing is found the basics of banking. It is a matter of human history to explore the ancient ways of banking. Please remember me in case of need.
    Thanking you nk sondhi

    Posted by N Sondhi,|10 Feb, 2010

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