A PSB CGM punished for ‘speaking his mind’

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S Adikesavan, SBT
Chief General Manager of State Bank of Travancore (SBT), a SBI associate bank, was summarily transferred to SBI, Hyderabad, on Wednesday apparently for ‘speaking his mind’ on the process sought to be followed in the matter of merger. It is said that S Adikesavan invited trouble for ‘politely’ reminding the board of parent SBI of “the need to follow due process’’.
It is pointed out that the process of acquisition was to be based on negotiations between the two banks, as directed in the original May 17 memorandum. SBT was to enter into negotiations with SBI for acquisition of assets and liabilities.
On August 11, Adikesavan was nominated as the authorised person to conduct negotiations with his counterpart in SBI in pursuance of that original memorandum. It was also proposed that the scheme of acquisition to be drafted finally would reflect the conclusion of the negotiations.
But SBI proceeded to suddenly call a board meeting on August 18 and sent in a scheme of acquisition as a fait accompli to SBT. The Audit Committee of the Board of SBT, which had to approve the swap ratio, took strong exception to this.
The Committee grilled Adikesavan demanding to know if he, in his capacity as the authorised person, did negotiate anything with SBI. The official did not come up with a convincing answer except saying that between August 11 and 18 a number of holidays had intervened.
He is said to have incurred the wrath of the SBI board for not saying everything was hunky-dory with the merger process.
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