UBI: Questionable Appointment

More murky details about the ex-CMD of UBI

The goings-on at United Bank of India (UBI) have been quickly suppressed after Archana Bhargava suddenly opted for voluntary retirement from the post of chairman & managing director (CMD). The mainstream media has also allowed the story to die.

But information trickling out of UBI and Canara Bank reveal that RBI governor, Dr D Subba Rao and the finance ministry had received several complaints against Ms Bhargava during her Canara Bank stint, but the charges were buried with a perfunctory investigation that allowed her to evade responsibility.

In November 2012, RBI was informed about how Ms Bhargava and AK Gupta, both former colleagues at Punjab National Bank, were at loggerheads in their capacity as executive directors of Canara Bank. This was causing dissonance and loss of morale in senior management. Some general managers even preferred to opt for voluntary retirement.

These battles escalated after the exit of former chairman S Raman leading to an ‘alarming’ decline in the Bank’s performance prompting a board member to write to the government. Isn’t it strange that, despite this feedback from a well-regarded director, Ms Bhargava was appointed CMD of UBI?

This was only one of the complaints. A Central Vigilance Commission inquiry into a complaint about branch officers being forced to buy gifts for Ms Bhargava was closed after accepting her version, because only one out of nearly 50 persons examined by the vigilance contradicted her version. Ms Bhargava was seen as politically powerful and bankers were scared of being victimised. Her subsequent appointment only proved the point. A video-recorded complaint by the jewellery firm Rajesh Exports about a demand for bribe was also closed as unsubstantiated.

Comments
Raj under Goswami
8 years ago
At the highest level of any organisation, especially financial organisations - which deal with the public money, only persons with high integrity and not those clouting high connections, should be posted. It is pity that such vital aspect is generally ignored in the prevailing system.
However, it is heartening to learn that UBI may bounce back to profits by reducing NPA by more than Rs.2000/- crore (Business Standard, Apl 4 2014). If the constant supervision of RBI and efforts of exiting bank officials at the helm of affairs can bring about this transformation, it will be an appreciable task.
ritesh Manilal Poladia
9 years ago
Sucheta M'aam,
even in the previous article there was mention of Political connection of EX UBI CMD and i concurr in my comments.

It s high time to disclose those connections and get the culprits go to the right place.
Ramesh Jaradhara
9 years ago
An Assamese saying is that "fish starts decaying from the head". This holds true in the case of UBI which was headed by Ms Archana Bhargava, allowing the bank to decay from the head.So long as political clout is there in selection of CMDs, banking organizations remain susceptible to get more Archana Bhargavas as their head.
Gopalakrishnan T V
9 years ago
Money Life can have a background search of all Directors and Chairmen of banks just to confirm that many may not have the professional expertiise, domain knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of the financial system.Their contacts,connections and other direct and indirect contributions which cannot stand any public scrutiny are the deciding factors and nothing can be expected from them other than professionalsed loot using all possible loopholes in the system.
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