Number of Women as Bank Director Negligible

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Number of Women as Bank Director Negligible

April 23: Although the government has mandated public companies to appoint women directors, female representation on bank boards remains negligible. Some commercial banks lack any female directors. This decline is attributed to banks' failure to implement the Companies Act provision.

Section 86 (2) stipulates that a public company's board should consist of at least three members and at most 11 members, with at least one female director for companies with female shareholders.

The annual supervision report of Nepal Rastra Bank highlights commercial banks' failure to adhere to this mandate.  The report mentions that some banks do not have women directors as per the Companies Act.

Data collected by New Business Age reveals that four out of the 19 commercial banks currently in operation have no female directors.

Among these banks, two have foreign investment (Standard Chartered and Himalayan) and two have only domestic investment (Global IME and Prabhu Bank).

Furthermore, 13 banks have only one female director each.

Government-invested commercial banks each have one woman on their boards. Among them, Gita Subedi is an expert director in Agricultural Development Bank, Romila Dhakal Upreti in Rastriya Banijya Bank and Sadhana Ghimire is a representative of the government in Nepal Bank Limited.

Among the private banks, Nepal SBI Bank and Laxmi Sunrise have two women each on the board of directors. Jayanti Banshal is the chairman of Nepal SBI Bank and Apsara Upreti is the director of the same bank. Similarly, Swati Rungta and Bidya Basnet are the directors of Laxmi Sunrise Bank.

The rest of the banks have one female director. Among them, Asha Rana Adhikari is a director at Nabil Bank, Meena Kumari Sainju at Siddharth Bank, Taradevi Chitrakar Bank Prime Bank, Manju Basnet at Nepal Investment Mega Bank.

Similarly, on behalf of general shareholders, Bandana Karki is a director of Machhapuchhre Bank, Bijaya Swar at NIC Asia Bank, Gayatri Thapa at Sanima Bank, Simran Aggarwal at Kumari Bank, Urmila Shrestha at Everest Bank and Sharmila Hardi at NMB Bank.

The proposed amendment to the Banks and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia) aims to increase female representation by requiring two women on bank boards—one from the shareholders and one from the expert group.




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