Pune: Co-op banks need to encourage participation of young people in their affairs

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Pune, 4th July 2022: Experts from the co-operative banking sector on Sunday stressed upon the need to encourage young people to participate in the management of banks to raise their performance.

If the same people stay on the boards of directors of banks for years together stagnation and inefficiency will creep into the banks’ working leading to a decline in their operational performance, experts participating in Banking Gappa (Let’s talk banking) event hosted by city based Vishweshwar Sahakari Bank as part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations. The event took place at Boat Club and Directors of 35 Cooperative banks participated in this interaction.

Vidyadhar Anaskar, Chairman of Maharashtra State Co-operative Council, moderated the discussion. He explained the Central Government’s stand that co-operative banks should rope in younger people in their management and decision making process. Anaskar said co-operative banking is going through a paradigm shift thanks to stricter regulatory regime and mutual help between strong and weak banks can help strengthen the sector as a whole. Strong banks can run smaller banks till the latter gain the strength to get on their own, rather than taking them over, Anaskar suggested. Vishweshwar Bank chairman Anil Gadhave welcomed the guest speakers and elaborated the theme of discussion.

Satish Marathe, director of Reserve Bank of India, said the Government is trying to ensure smooth succession in management by restricting the role of members of boards of directors to two terms. Most directors of co-operative banks are unaware of the changes in the banking sector and it is necessary to include on the boards persons who understand banking and are familiar with banking regulation.

He also underlined the need of co-operative banking following the principle of separation of ownership and management. Chairman of Pune District Co-operative Banks Association Subhash Mohite said the banks should introspect rather than blaming the regulatory system for all their problems. “We keep receiving operational data from member banks and often see warning signals about the state of affairs of some. We can offer help to such members to streamline their functioning and get them back on track,” Mohite said.

Cosmos Co-operative Bank chairman Milind Kale said the sector is bedevilled by the attitude of directors of not letting go of control. “We should do head hunting to identify accomplished people in their early fifties and encourage them to participate in management so that we get the benefit of their knowledge and experience,” Kale said.

Jijamata Sahakari Bank chairperson Smita Yadav said women directors can play a major role in improving the image of the co-operative banking sector. Women achievers in various fields should be encouraged to become bank directors, she added.

Smita Deshpande, Chairperson of Bhagini Nivedita Sahakari Bank, said common people have their peculiar needs which small banks can understand and therefore small banks are important. She said the amalgamation of banks in the consolidation process should be based on banking parameters as well as cultural connect between banks.

Dilip Mehta compared the event. Vishwar Bank’s CEO Shriram Bapat proposed the vote of thanks.