Although a huge amount of work was put in for the revival of the bank, the efforts failed and a new hand might help to run it better, said Parthasarathi Mukherjee, who has resigned as managing director and CEO of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) this week.
"I have resigned only because of personal reasons. I have been wanting to go. I was finding that I was not really making much progress in my time. That tells me that may be a new hand will help," he said.
Looking back, he said that the lender was hit by slippages in the accounts and that took away all its capital. Mukherjee also rued the fact that the bank was not able to raise capital that was needed for growth. He has been foregoing his salary since February, last year. "I had hoped that the bank would quickly come back," he said.
During the past three years, tremendous amount of cleaning has happened, systems and processes have been tightened, and the lender's operational backbone has been strengthened. The measures put forward by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday's press meet to revive the banks were already taken by LVB. It has put in a strong Chief Risk Officer, set up a risk appetite segment and the entire operations framework -- retail and corporate -- was put in place. But the large slippages of old legacy accounts hit the bank badly.
The lender also followed a customer-centric approach and created various groups to handle different set of customers, apart from separating the retail bank and corporate bank operations. However, asset quality slipped, eating away a lot of capital, which the bank was not able to replenish adequately. Provisioning requirements were huge. Direct infusion of capital of a merger was needed to come out of this problem.
"Since I was in charge, I am taking the responsibility for the failure and I feel that may be someone else can come and now handle it," Mukherjee said, adding that he was planning to move out for some time and had discussed his departure with the Board, which finally gave its approval.
On the merger of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL) and its wholly-owned subsidiary Indiabulls Commercial Credit Ltd with LVB, he said that it will happen on its own and there is nothing he should do now on it. It needs Reserve Bank of India approval and since it is a bank with NBFC merger, it can happen quickly.
"As and when the merger happens,the bank needs to have a strong new hand to run it and I feel it would be better for me to step down. I felt that this would be a good time for me to go," he added.
While IBHFL recently said it has proposed Sameer Gehlaut as non-executive chairman and Gagan Banga as MD and CEO of the amalgamated bank, the decision has to come from the Bank's board and RBI has to approve it.
When asked about his next plan, he said, "I am a great Cricket fan, I don''t get enough time to watch cricket. In normal times I should have to go to bed early because I need to go to office the next day. Now it is easier, I can watch some Cricket comfortably."
Mukherjee has been holding the position as the MD and CEO of the Bank from January 25, 2016 and was reappointed for a tenure of two years from January 25, 2019. He started his career as a probationary officer in State bank of India in the year 1982.