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(Immediate Past Chairman,IBA)
Hotel Taj President,Mumbai. October 25,2004.

Respected Dy.Governor of the Reserve Bank of India,
Shri V Leeladhar, Fellow Bankers, Distinguished Invitees, Ladies and Gentlemen!

As the Chairman of the Indian Banks' Association, it is indeed my pleasure and privilege to welcome you all to this happy event. We have gathered here to honour Shri V Leeladhar who has been assumed the charge of Dy. Governor Reserve Bank of India.

Shri V Leeladhar hardly needs any introduction to any segment of the society. His efficiency is testified by no less than many of his predecessors - a rare, if not impossible, recognition of one's value. Shri V Leeladhar's amiable temperament and helpful attitude is well acknowledged among his colleagues and friends. His enigmatic smile and ready wit have won all of us. Pragmatic approach to even critical issues and finding reasonable and satisfactory solutions has been his hall mark. In short, Shri V Leeladhar is a rare combination of human kindness and professional efficiency.

Shri V Leeldhar has been associated with the Indian financial system for a fairly long time. He was the immediate past Chairman, Indian Bank's Association & Chairman & Managing Director of Union Bank of India. A Fellow of IIBF, his association with the Indian Banking Industry is over 3 decades, joining Syndicate Bank in 1969. He thereafter, served Corporation Bank, rising up to the position of General Manager of the Bank. His experience covered all areas of banking including Credit, International Banking, Investments, Merchant Banking and Personal Banking. In April 1996, he was appointed as Executive Director of Bank of Maharashtra, Pune followed by the appointment as the Chairman & Managing Director of Vijaya Bank between October, 1997 and April, 2000.

He is also the immediate Past President of the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF), Mumbai. He has keen interest in the areas of Modern Management Practices and Techniques and also developments in the Banking & Financial Sector.

Let me briefly touch upon the Indian Banks' Association. It is a voluntary Self-Regulatory Organisation of financial institutions. It was founded more than fifty five years ago essentially as a club of bankers. However, over the years, it has completely changed its character and complexion. In line with the changed conditions, it has acquired a different vision and assumed a different mission. Its main objective now is to ensure, on a continuous basis, a healthy, efficient, and stable financial system, which is committed and responsive to the society's needs. In pursuance of this goal, it attempts at an assessment of the evolving operational environment and suggests suitable proactive measures. Activities in these areas cover, mainly, identifying pressure points and recommending suitable action to defuse them. Admittedly, this is a continuous process to which the Association is committed.

I would like to quote only a few examples. The Association has been representing its members at various fora. It offers views on the likely impact of major operation-oriented policy changes. Model codes of conduct for banks are regularly prepared and circulated. It has been encouraging operation-oriented research in financial matters. This includes, apart from information dissemination through publications, administering the C.H.Bhabha Scholarship Scheme, and extending organizational support to the host bank of the annual Bank Economists' Conference. In pursuance of the suggestions at the last such Conference, it has completed five studies dealing with different aspects like a road map for introducing an integrated risk management system, bench marking banks, and managing market risk. These are circulated among members for implementation. It has already finalized a Vision Report on Indian Banking for 2010. This would provide broad contours of the likely position of banks and identify areas for action. The Association's other notable activities like wage negotiation are well known and needs no repetition.

As the Chairman, IBA, Shri V Leeladhar was fully associated with these activities. Perhaps, he might have envisioned some more roles to the IBA.

With these few words of appreciation for Shri Leeladhar's leadership, gentility and economity, I, once again welcome you all to this evening, which I am sure, will turn out to be a memorable one for all of us.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016
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