Kochi: Three new members were elected to the board of Kerala-base Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) on Friday at the bank’s annual general body meeting. The new additions gain significance in light of almost year-long attempts to merge CSB with Kerala-based Federal Bank.
K.A. Menon, George Sebastian and George Chemmanur, whose terms ended Friday, have been replaced by Iype Peter, Samir Bhasin and T.S. Anantharaman.
Iype Peter, a former Federal Bank employee who was elected to the CSB board last year had quit in January, paving the way for S. Santhanakrishnan, who quit the Federal Bank board, to join the CSB board and hasten the merger process. Federal Bank currently holds a 4.99% stake in CSB.
A CSB board member said on condition of anonymity that the new board was unanimously in favour of a merger with Federal Bank. However, the proposal would have to officially come from the Federal Bank. “With the new board at CSB now all in favour of a merger, Federal may now consider hastening things,” he added.
CSB has also formed a three-member board committee to conduct due diligence and that the process was ongoing, he added. M. Venugopalan, managing director of Federal Bank, had earlier said that his bank was open to having a say in the affairs of CSB keeping in mind the possible Rs.cultural synergy’ of two Kerala-based banks. He was not available for comment for Friday’s development/