Issues awaiting Amitabh Chaudhry as he looks to lead Axis Bank in 2019

Amitabh Chaudhry will take over as the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of Axis Bank from January 2019 for a period of 3 years. He is currently the MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance, a position he has been holding since January 2010.

‘The Board of Directors of the bank at its meeting held today (8 September) has taken on record the approval granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the appointment of Amitabh Chaudhry as the Managing Director & CEO of the Bank, for a period of 3 years, with effect from January 1, 2019 up to December 31, 2021 (both days inclusive),’ Axis Bank told in a regulatory filing.

Shikha Sharma submitted a request to the Board in April urging to reduce her fourth term to 7 months. The Board agreed to this. So she will step down in December this year.

Issues awaiting

Under Sharma’s tenure the NPAs went unchecked and asset quality of the bank reduced significantly. The banks exposure to infrastructure, mining and power constituted to most of the NPAs. In March 2009 before she took office, the gross NPA of Axis Bank was at 0.96%, in December 2017 it increased to 5.28%. As on June 2018, the gross NPA stands at 6.52%.

As a result of this the net profits dropped down to 46% in April-June quarter for the current fiscal. Not only that Axis Bank under reported its bad loans to the RBI in 2016 and 2017. In December last year, SEBI ordered the bank to conduct an internal probe to fix insider trading. And in 2016, the bank was alleged for money laundering when the PM announced note ban.

Chaudhry sounds rather positive. ‘Together, with the support of the Board and the Axis team, I am confident of continuing the bank’s remarkable journey these past 25 years and to contribute to its future growth,’ he said.

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