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Vijay Shekhar Sharma steps down at Paytm Payments Bank

Move comes against backdrop of RBI’s decision to stop Paytm Payments Bank’s operations over “persistent non-compliance” and “continued material supervisory concerns”

Vijay Shekhar Sharma steps down at Paytm Payments Bank
[Source photo: X]

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has stepped down as part-time non-executive chairman of Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) and the bank board has been reconstituted, One 97 Communications Ltd (OCL) said in a filing. 

Former Central Bank of India chairman Srinivasan Sridhar, former executive director of Bank of Baroda Ashok Kumar Garg, and retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers Debendranath Sarangi and Rajni Sekhri Sibal have joined as independent directors, OCL said. 

The other board members are former executive director of Punjab and Sind Bank Arvind Kumar Jain as an independent director and Surinder Chawla, managing director and chief executive officer at Paytm Payments Bank.

PPBL will soon commence the process of appointing a new chairman.

The decision by Sharma was taken against the backdrop of the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to stop Paytm Payments Bank’s banking operations over “persistent non-compliance” and “continued material supervisory concerns” in the bank.

RBI told Paytm last month that no further deposits, credit transactions, or top-ups will be allowed in any customer accounts, prepaid instruments, wallets, FASTags, NCMC cards after 29 February. 

The deadline has now been extended to 15 March.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, OCL said it supported PPBL’s move of opting for a board with only independent and executive directors by removing its nominee. 

“The company has been separately informed that Vijay Shekhar Sharma has also resigned from the board of Paytm Payments Bank to enable this transition. PPBL has informed us that they will commence the process of appointing a new chairman,” the company said.

Sridhar, a veteran in the banking sector with a career spanning over 40 years, is currently serving as the independent director at Jubilant Pharmova. He has held leadership positions at Export Import Bank of India, Central Bank of India, and National Housing Bank.

“I am dedicated to utilizing my extensive banking expertise to steer the bank towards expanding its range of compliant services. It is my goal to ensure that PPBL becomes a paragon of regulatory compliance, setting new standards in delivering exceptional value to the stakeholders, in strict adherence with regulatory frameworks and best practices,” Sridhar said in a statement. 

Sarangi, a retired IAS officer of the 1977 batch of Tamil Nadu cadre, is a veteran in public administration and corporate governance. He is currently serving as an independent director on the boards of several companies including Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Limited and Voltas Ltd, among others.

“Assuming this expanded role at a critical juncture for PPBL, my dedication is firmly rooted in adhering to and exceeding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and corporate governance. I am wholly committed to applying my expertise to navigate PPBL towards a future characterized by operational excellence, ensuring strict compliance with regulatory guidelines and fostering a culture of best practices,” Sarangi said. 

Sibal is a retired IAS officer of the 1986 batch of Haryana cadre with 38 years of experience in administration and governance. She serves as an independent external monitor in the public sector and as an independent director in corporates.

Garg, with 39 years of diverse banking experience, has held significant positions including whole time director at Bank of Baroda, Chief Executive for USA operations of the bank at New York, managing director of Bank of Baroda (Uganda) Ltd at Kampala, and chairman/director of its subsidiaries in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, and Kenya. 

Welcoming the new members of the board, Chawla said it was a significant step forward in PPBL’s journey. 

“Their distinguished expertise will be pivotal in guiding us toward enhancing our governance structures and operational standards, further solidifying our dedication to compliance and best practices,” he said.

Paytm shares rose about 3% in intraday trading on Tuesday against a 0.3% rise in the Sensex.

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