No cash in ATM, nearly forty persons waiting their turn to get some cash in the line and the lady cashier, wearing a mask, unable to satisfy the customers, another employee trying to pacify an enraged depositor by saying that everything will be normal in a day or so. It was the scene in a local branch in Panchkula, a Haryana town in the periphery of tricity Chandigarh, on March 6,2020 at nearly 3.40 PM.
The queueing people were the depositors of the Yes Bank, which has gone in the ditch due to wrong policies of the Bank and failure of the Central Government and watch dog RBI to smell the mephitis of the system well in time.
An officer, sitting on the side seat and having no name plate, though himself seems frightened says, “Sir, it’s true that ATM and Net banking are not functional at present, but we are paying everyone up to the marked limit of Rs50000/ in cash. We are having no dearth of cash, but due to Central Government and RBI guidelines we are bound to maintain this limit till April 3. SBI is ready to get stake of our bank and everything will be OK very soon.”
When asked, “Why the position of the Yes Bank deteriorated”, the officer said, “Sir, Banks also do the business and every business has the risk. Some loan portfolios financed by us gone bad and the result has given us the jolt. Sir, our finance minister has also assured to watch the interest of the depositors.”
After the incident of Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank failure (https://indianewsfront.com/category/business-economy/), once again one more public money collector, the Yes Bank, has shown the ugly face of Indian Banking System (IBS). It has shattered the belief of lakhs of people who deposit their hard-earned money in the banks to keep it safe and secure. But it has also unmasked that how the bank regulators including RBI and NABARD, managements, internal auditors and statutory auditors are unserious and keep their vigilant eyes closed.
Above mentioned auditing and checking authorities, responsible for curbing the birth of snakes in the IBS, should be kicked off with a hard hit. If they can’t even notice or smell the internal health of the Banks during their off- site and on-site inspection and audit period, then what kind of surveillance they are keeping?
What the Finance Minister says?
Assuring the depositors as well as the employees of the Yes Bank, the Finance Minister Sitharaman at a press conference says, “Employment, salary of employees of Yes Bank assured for one year; deposits, liabilities will be unaffected.”
Central Finance Minister divulged that Essel, DHFL, ILFS, Vodafone were some of the very stressed corporates whom Yes Bank had advanced. FM stated that RBI had noticed governance issues and weak regulatory compliance at the bank, along with faulty asset classification and risky credit decisions.
“We have been monitoring the situation. Now that RBI has come up with a plan, a resolution will be found at the earliest. I want to assure the depositors and investors that both the RBI and the government are looking into the issue. There is no need to panic, their money is safe,” Sitharaman assured.
Will the assurance of Finance Minister bring a glare of hope on gloomy faces of the depositors and employees of Yes bank?
A current account holder of Yes Bank, harassed by the decision of levying a cap of Rs.50000/ on all the withdrawals, says, “I am to make the salary payments on 10th of March to the poor workers employed in my small factory , from where should I pay ?Assurance doesn’t fill the belly. If the FM is so much confident to revive the financial corona affected bank, then why she is stopping the depositor’s money? She should stop further advancements only.”
Addressing an event organized by the Indian Banks Association in which EASE 3.0 was unveiled on Wednesday, Feb 26 ,2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, annoyed with the slow advancement by Public Sector Banks, pulled up PSU banks on poor branch level connections with customers, which is affecting the credit push. She added that the branch-level connect of the PSU banks with customers is not as it was earlier.
But before scolding the staff of PSU banks, the FM should look into the causes, why the PSU bank staff is losing the connections with the customers? Why the PSU Bank employees are not financing with the speed as desired by the FM? The FM should not force the PSU banks to finance with bullet train speed and keep in mind that ‘Speed thrills, but kills. Now the speedy financing in cats and dogs’ style has shown its results in the Yes Bank.
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram raises the question,
“When overall bank credit during the above period grew by about 10 per cent, how did YES BANK’s loan book grow by about 35 per cent?”
Reacting over the FM Sitharaman’s comment that the PSU bank staff is losing the connections with the customers, a retired Banker asks,
“Why the salary of the Public Sector bank employees has not been revised since November, 2017? Why they are forced to go on strikes even for their routine salary revision? Why the retirees of Regional Rural Banks are still deprived of their pensionary benefits in letter and spirit as decided by Supreme Court of India? Has the FM ever even thought of the results of such negative attitude of the central government?”
Now the SBI is considering to invest Rs.2450 crore in buying a 49% stake in the troubled bank. Will it not be a forced step of the government to stake public money and hard-earned profit of the same SBI, which is being run by the employees to whom the Finance Minister is scolding by saying that the PSU bank staff is losing the connections with the customers?
All India Bank Employees’ Association (Regn No. 2037) has raised the question over the role of RBI and demanded to make RBI answerable and accountable.
General Secretary of the Association, C H Venkatachalam in a press release dated March, 6 says,
“RBI, being the Regulator, cannot be unaware of the on goings in Yes Bank. RBI cannot extricate itself from responsibility. Government must make RBI answerable and accountable.”
Demanding for nationalization of all private banks, Mr. C H Venkatachalam adds,
“One by one private banks, which are glorified by the government, are failing. It is high time that the government should take a call and repeat 1969, all private banks should be brought under public sector. Peoples’ money is for Peoples’ Welfare and not for private loot.”
But who listens to the cry in the wilderness? (INF)
JAG MOHAN THAKEN