Govt Withdraws Zubair Iqbal As JK Bank Director, Curtain Falls on First Appointed MD

SRINAGAR: Former HDFC bank senior vice president, Zubair Iqbal whose nomination as Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Bank was halted for unexplained reasons, has now ceased to be on the bank’s Board of Directors, the bank has informed National Stock Exchange of India (NSEI). It also has not explained anything in the three-liner intimation.

Zubair Iqbal

“Pursuant to Regulation 30 of SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure requirements) Registrations, 2015, we wish to inform that Mr. Zubair Iqbal,, Govt. Nominee Director (DIN: 08742685) has ceased to be the Director of the Bank consequent upon withdrawal of his nomination by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mohammad Shafi Mir, Company Secretary said in the communication. “This is for your information and appropriate dissemination.”

Iqbal’s nomination as MD JK Bank has not been approved by the RBI for the last 10 months. However, he continued to be the director of the bank, a position now withdrawn.

The communication dated March 3, 2021, came almost three weeks ahead of the “superannuation” of the incumbent chairman, R K Chibber, whose latest – the sixth – extension is concluding on April 10, 2021. Chibber was appointed as Chairman and MD of the bank on a time gap basis in June 2019 after Parvez Ahmad was sacked from the position and booked under “corruption” cases.

In May 2020, following the directions of the Reserve Bank of India to separate the positions of Chairman and Managing Director for better governance, Zubair was appointed as MD, while incumbent Chairman and Managing Director Chibber was designated as Chairman of the bank for three years.

“I am directed to inform you that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has, in exercise of the powers under Article 69 (i) of the Articles of Association of Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd, decided to appoint senior Vice-President of HDFC Bank, Zubair Iqbal, as Government Nominee/Director on the Board of J&K Bank Ltd. for a period of three years or till further orders, whichever is earlier,” read an order issued by Finance Department.

Post his resignation from HDFC, as Zubair joined the bank as its first Managing Director, he according to sources was told to stop coming to the office ‘for a while’ as RBI ‘will give clearance within few days’. However, the wait did not end for 10 months and today the government withdrew his nomination.

The process to select Zubair came after a rigorous process of selection overseen by a high level 3 member committee under the chairmanship of Tapan Ray, Ex Union Corporate Affairs Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, J&K, and Anand Madhukar, OSD in Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, (GoI).

A former employee of the bank, Zubair had served for 15 years in different assignments, before switching to HDFC in 2004. A banker with over 30 years of experience, he started and served HDFC in J&K for about 16 years. At the time of his appointment, he heading North India as Regional Manager, Customer Experience and Projects. He was supporting 500 branches of Delhi, Haryana, J&K and Ladakh.

Pertinent to mention, in the recent past, J&K Bank promoted nine of its vice presidents to the level of president including Karanjit Singh, Rakesh Koul, Peer Masood Ahmad, Sudhir Gupta, Syed Rais Maqbool, Ashutosh Sarin,Narjay Gupta, Sunit Kumar and Anil Deep Mehta. With currently, three Executive Presidents, Arun Gandotra, Sunil Gupta and Ghulam Nabi Teli serving the bank at the top position, Teli is slated to retire next month.

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