The Reserve Bank has approved the appointment of Rajeev Ahuja as the interim MD and CEO of RBL Bank for three months or till there is a regular appointment.
In a sudden turn of events, the board of the bank had on last Saturday sent the then Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Vishwavir Ahuja on leave and elevated Rajeev as the interim MD and CEO to take care of the day-to-day operations of the bank, subject to regulatory and other approvals.
“We wish to inform you that Reserve Bank of India vide its letter dated December 28, 2021, has approved the appointment of Rajeev Ahuja as the interim Managing Director & CEO of the bank for a period of three months with effect from December 25, 2021, or till the appointment of a regular MD & CEO, whichever is earlier,” RBL said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
Vishwavir’s sudden departure was seen as a result of the RBI communication to the bank a day earlier (December 24, 2021), appointing his Chief General Manager Yogesh K Dayal to the board of the private sector lender.
The appointment of an RBI official on the board of a private sector bank is not usually seen as a normal phenomenon.
Rajeev in his very first interaction with reporters and investors on December 26 had said the bank was financially sound and that it had full support from its board of directors and the RBI.
The top bank, on its part, also came to the rescue of the bank the very next day, stating it was strong financially. The depositors, as well as the investors, should not heed to the speculation around the sudden change of affairs at the helm of the bank, the RBI had said.
However, despite the RBI’s clarification, the stock of the bank faced a sell-off and closed 18 per cent down on Monday, before touching an intra-day low of over Rs 132 apiece on BSE.
Shares of the bank traded at Rs 133.10 apiece on BSE, down 7.76 per cent from the previous close.