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RBI sets up panel to look at governance issues

The Reserve Bank of India has set up an experts’ panel to put banks under the scanner on a range of governance parameters including pattern of ownership, functioning of boards and compensation of board members. The panel will be chaired by P.J. Nayak, former chairman and CEO of Axis Bank. It is expected to submit its report within three months from the date of its first meeting after it undertakes an extensive review among other things of the central bank’s regulatory guidelines on ownership of banks and representation in the boards. It will also ascertain if there is conflict of interest in board representation, including among owner representatives and regulators. It will also assess and review the ‘fit and proper’ criteria for all categories of directors of banks, including tenure of directorship. The panel will examine guidelines on board compensation, which vary vastly between public sector banks, private banks and foreign banks and the working of banks’ boards to find out whether adequate time is devoted to issues of strategy, growth, governance and risk management. It will also review the regulatory compliance required of banks’ boards. The other members of the panel are S Raman, whole-time member of Securities & Exchange Board of India ( Sebi), Shubhalakshmi Panse, CMD of Allahabad Bank; Pratip Kar, former executive director of Sebi; Joydeep Sengupta, director at McKinsey; Harsh Vardhan, partner, Bain & Company; Somasekhar Sundaresan, partner, J Sagar Associates and Krishnamurthy Subramanian, assistant professor, Indian School of Business.

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