Hunt for New UBI Chief Still On

The Economic Times - - Markets + Finance - AT­MADIP RAY

The fi­nance min­istry has to be­gin its search for a new United Bank of In­dia (UBI) chief all over again as the plan to ap­point Mukesh Ku­mar Jain, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Pun­jab & Sind Bank, as the new boss of the Kolkatabased bank has come un­stuck, said people close to the de­vel­op­ment. Any de­lay in the ap­point­ment of the bank’s chief will make things worse for UBI, fight­ing one of the grimmest bat­tles against ris­ing bad loans. “Be­ing head­less is not a good sit­u­a­tion. The lack of di­rec­tion is go­ing to hurt the lender, so it’s im­por­tant that UBI gets a chair­man fast,” said PwC’s as­so­ciate di­rec­tor Robin Roy. Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tors Deepak Narang and San­jay Arya had been in charge of the bank since Ar­chana Bhar­gava took vol­un­tary re­tire­ment in Fe­bru­ary this year af­ter the bank saw a steep rise in sticky loans re­sult­ing in .` 1,238-crore loss in the De­cem­ber quar­ter.

The fi­nance min­istry wanted Jain to fill the vac­uum at UBI, but the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice un­der Man­mo­han Singh re­jected his file, said people in the know. The bank has re­ported .` 469 crore net profit for the March quar­ter.

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