Paytm Payments Bank CEO Surinder Chawla Resigns To “Explore Better Career Prospects”

You know things aren’t well at a company when the CEO resigns to explore better career prospects.

Paytm Payments Bank CEO Surinder Chawla has resigned from the bank, Paytm told exchanges in a filing. The filing said that he’d made the decision on account of personal reasons and “to explore better career prospects.” In February, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had resigned from the bank’s board of directors.

“The Company would like to update that it has been informed by its associate entity, Paytm Payments Bank Limited (“PPBL”) on April 08,2024 at 5.23 P.M, that Mr. Surinder Chawla, Managing Director and CEO of PPBL has tendered his resignation on April 8, 2024, on account of personal reasons and to explore better career prospects,” Paytm told stock exchanges. “He will be relieved from PPBL w.e.f. close of business hours on June 26,2024, unless changed by mutual consent,” it added.

Paytm also stressed that it had severed nearly all ties with the crisis-hit payments bank. “Nearly all agreements between the Company and PPBL have been terminated, and the board of PPBL has been reconstituted with five independent directors including an Independent Chairperson and no nominees from the Company,” the filing said.

Paytm Payments Bank has been all but crippled by an RBI directive that required the bank to stop accepting new deposits over “persistent non-compliances”. It had later emerged that Paytm hadn’t had adequate KYC norms in place, which had meant that over a thousand accounts at the bank were linked to the same PAN card. A foreign syndicate had reportedly been exploiting these loopholes to launder money from the promotion of fraudulent services which included prohibited gaming activities and dating services, and cheated lakhs of Indians. The bank had been hit by a Rs. 5.49 crore penalty by the Financial Intelligence Unit for these non-compliances.

This had meant that the operations of the bank had come to a virtual standstill. Paytm Payments Bank had to exit the FasTag business, which required all Paytm Bank customers to switch their FasTag accounts to other providers. Paytm too has had to tie up with other banks to provide its back-end UPI services. Amid all this, not only has Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma stepped aside from the board of the bank, but the bank’s CEO has resigned citing “better career prospects”. There had been much excitement when Paytm launched its Payments Bank license all the way back in 2017, but that chapter in Paytm’s journey now seems to be drawing to a bitter and contentious close.