Business Times

Ageing bank directors seek divine intervention to stay in office


The Central Bank Governor has taken a tough stand against those long-standing and over- aged directors and chairmen of banks seeking further extensions. In some cases even those who have served over 25 years (when the mandatory maximum is nine) had been pleading for more time on bank boards finding it difficult to let go of the perks of office and the prestige.

After the Central Bank rules came into force after much discussion and advance notice, these directors were given a further 3-year grace period (thanks to Lalith Kotelawala) to spread out retirements. Instead of having a well planned retirement programme, bank chairmen and boards kept on extending terms and re-electing even those directors over 80 (when the mandatory maximum is 70).
Its sad to see how these great Management Gurus did not have a proper succession planning in their own places !!

Quite rightly the Central Bank had not wanted to reward boards for their own lapse of weak succession planning and wanted the ageing types to make way for a younger band of bank directors. These directors tried influence peddling at the highest level and, worried that this would be unsuccessful, some even sought divine intervention at popular devales making vows and contributions (of course at the bank’s expense) which also failed.

The Central Bank should be commended for the brave stand of not throwing away their own Code of Corporate Governance.

Senior banker

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