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BIAN Appoints Three Industry Experts to Executive Board 

Charaka Kithulegoda, Shanker Ramamurthy and Balaji Kumar join leadership team to drive innovation at not-for-profit organisation

BIAN, the independent not-for-profit standards association, today announces three new appointments to its executive board. Charaka Kithulegoda, Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President, Retail Banking at PNC; Shanker Ramamurthy, Global Managing Partner – Banking at IBM; and Balaji Kumar, Managing Director, Head of Engineering and Architecture Practice for Citi’s Global Consumer Bank all joined the board effective 6 May 2021. These three experts come armed with a wealth of knowledge on financial and banking technology and are well-known for forging meaningful change across the sector.

As banks and fintechs navigate the evolving landscape, the financial services industry is being shaped by new consumer trends – from the rise of a cashless society to the pandemic-driven shift towards online banking and mobile payments. The pandemic spurred banks to make years’ worth of technology and business model changes in only a matter of months and, according to research from the IBM Institute for Business Value, COVID-19 spurred shoppers to explore different tools and services, like mobile contactless payments, with many saying they will continue to use them in the future.

To support these changes, there will be a continued focus on technological development this year and beyond. BIAN’s recent board appointments will provide expert counsel and help the organisation navigate this period of immense disruption.

Commenting on the appointments, Hans Tesselaar, Executive Director of BIAN, says: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Charaka, Shanker, and Balaji to our Executive Board. They each bring a tremendous amount of industry knowledge and passion for technological innovation. They will provide our board with unique insight as we step into the unknown. BIAN has a significant role to play in helping organisations transform and innovate as they build the financial services industry of the future. We look forward to working with these companies throughout this transition.”

With over 20 years of technology and transformation experience, in his role at PNC Bank, Charaka Kithulegoda is responsible for all technical aspects of PNC’s Retail Banking business, including the transformation of its existing Core Banking platform and applications aimed at delivering a differentiated and superior customer experience. Speaking about his appointment to the BIAN Executive Board, Charaka says, “BIAN enables transformation and innovation at scale by providing standards, frameworks and tools for the financial services industry. I am proud to appointed to BIAN’s Executive Board and looking forward to working with the members to define the platform for the next level of innovation in Financial Services.”

With more than 25 years of global financial services experience, Shanker Ramamurthy is the worldwide leader of IBM’s banking consulting practice in IBM Global Business Services, focused on banks’ digital transformation, core banking, and payments. He is also the President of the IBM Industry Academy. Shanker comments, “The winners of tomorrow will be the banks who have a technology and business strategy to support the bank of the future and are prioritizing innovation powered by hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. BIAN has a significant role in helping banks do just this. I am proud to be joining BIAN’s Executive Board and to be part of this journey.”

Balaji Kumar has over 20 years of experience working across the technology sector. In his current role at Citi, he is responsible for defining architecture standards, creating a culture of engineering excellence, and implementing technology frameworks that enable rapid development and deployment of software products at scale across the bank. On his appointment, Balaji shares, “Technology is a real differentiator in every industry, and it’s forcing organisations to consider how they adapt to survive. I’m excited to join BIAN’s Executive Board during this time of accelerated disruption and to support BIAN’s efforts towards cross-industry collaboration.”

David Vander, Regional Vice President of Business Value Services at Salesforce, was also re-appointed as BIAN’s treasurer and advisory board member.

About BIAN

Established in 2008, the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) is an independent, member owned, not-for-profit association, designed to build and promote a common architectural framework for banking interoperability issues. BIAN’s goal is to define operability and semantic definitions for IT services in the banking industry.

The community of over 80 members focuses on creating a standard semantic banking services landscape, while ensuring consistent API and Microservices definitions with high levels of detail and well-defined boundaries. This will help banks to achieve a reduction of integration costs and take advantage of a message-based architecture.

Financial institutions, software vendors, system integrators and technology partners, along with standard bodies and academics, are invited to join the association and play a collaborative role with other industry leaders in defining, building and implementing next-generation banking platforms.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit

About IBM
To learn more about IBM Global Business Services, please visit

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.