Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma to step down by end of 2018
Mumbai: Axis Bank Ltd said that its long-time Chief Executive Shikha Sharma will step down at the end of 2018, days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was reported to have expressed concerns about the lender giving her a three-year extension.
Indias banking sector has been facing increased scrutiny amid record-high bad loan levels within the banking system, the discovery of a $2 billion scam at state-run Punjab National Bank and a slew of other issues.
In a surprise regulatory filing late on Monday, Axis said Sharma, who has been the CEO of the third-biggest private sector Indian bank by assets since 2009, had asked the banks board to shorten her next term that is set to begin on June 1.
Axis Banks board has accepted Sharmas request, pending approval from Indias central bank, the lender said.
Last July, Axis said it had re-appointed Sharma as CEO for a three-year period starting June 1, 2018.
Recent Indian media reports, including in The Times of India and The Economic Times, have said the Reserve Bank of India had asked the banks board to reconsider Sharmas three-year reappointment citing concerns over the banks asset quality among other reasons.
Axis Bank gave no reason for Sharma cutting short her term and a bank spokesman declined to comment when asked if the decision was connected with the recent media reports.
Sharma herself made no comment in the regulatory filing.
Under Sharma, Axis has seen its gross bad loans jump more than six times over the last three years to 250 billion rupees ($3.85 billion) as of end-2017.