Top bankers have hailed the contributions of outgoing Reserve Bank Governor D. Subbarao, saying he did his best during a tenure that was marked by difficult times for the economy.

“I think the Governor’s (five-year) term has been in one of the most difficult environments globally and domestically. If you look at the world and our country today, there is so much change that you have to be on your feet, and I can’t imagine anybody else doing a better job (than Dr. Subbarao),” Axis Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Shikha Sharma said.

Dr. Subbarao demits office on September 4, after being at the helm for five years that saw the beginning of the global recession from which it is yet to recover.

Credit crisis

Within a fortnight of him assuming office, global investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy and the hit pulled the global banking system down to an unprecedented credit crisis which eventually led to the worst recession since the Great Depression.

This was followed by a difficult period which saw the RBI working in close co-ordination with the government and other financial sector regulators, as also other central banks, to ring-fence the economy.

“I’ve the highest respect for him. He has been through difficult times, and let’s put it this way: in hindsight, it’s very easy to judge anybody...I do believe he did a great job,” Aditya Puri, who heads HDFC Bank, said.

“One thing that has not been fully talked about during his tenure is that he has reduced CRR and SLR by 4 percentage points, which to my mind, in a tenure of five years is very significant,” said Pratip Chaudhuri, Chairman of State Bank of India.

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