On behalf of its 28,000 members and bank customers, Moneylife Foundation has sent a letter to the RBI governor seeking more clarification for exchanging old or pre-2005 rupee notes
In order to get more clarity on the currency notes withdrawal and exchange process, Moneylife Foundation, on behalf of its over 28,000 members and lakhs of bank customers, has sent a letter to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Dr Raghuram Rajan. This follows an advisory from the RBI to withdraw all currency notes issued prior to 2005, including Rs500 and Rs1,000 denominations from 31st March, which however, has resulted in hardships for several people.
Despite the advisory from the RBI, several banks are not accepting old currency notes and instead are found advising customers to wait till further clarification from the central bank. Banks are even found refusing to exchange old (pre-2005) currency notes withdrawn from their own ATMs. Bank employees too are clueless about the whole exercise.
Last week, the RBI in an advisory has said, "After 31 March 2014, it (RBI) will completely withdraw from circulation all bank notes issued prior to 2005. From 1 April 2014, the public will be required to approach banks for exchanging these notes".
This has prompted Moneylife Foundation to send a memorandum to the RBI. "We believe that RBI needs to issues appropriate instructions to banks on the exchange of notes without question. You may have noticed the Mumbai Mirror's front page article says that there is already a racket of charging 2% for exchanging these notes, caused by a lack of awareness and appropriate information to the public," the letter says.
Moneylife Foundation has urged the RBI governor, to initiate urgent corrective steps to stem this before it sets off panic and causes harassment. "Already, we have to examine each note that we get from ATMs while nobody is willing to accept currency that is pre-2005. In fact, the RBI circular has led to the belief that pre-2005 notes are as good as bad currency," the letter said.
Meanwhile, speaking with reporters, the RBI governor denied that the recall of the pre-2005 currency notes was an attempt at demonetisation and preventing black money or curbing tax evasion, and said it was aimed at reducing counterfeiting.
Here is the letter sent by Moneylife Foundation...
For weeks, Ferreira had avoided appearing before Mumbai police in the Rs425 crore QNet scam, until the Session Court asked him to present himself before the EOW. Ferreira is also booked by Mumbai police for allegedly forging documents to sell a plot of land at Gorai in Malad
Former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira on Monday appeared before the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police following directives from the Court in connection with the Rs425 crore QNet scam. Mumbai police had also issued a look notice against Ferreira after he failed to appear before the EOW.
For weeks, Ferreira had avoided appearing before the EOW until a Mumbai court hearing his anticipatory bail application asked him to present himself before the police by 27th January.
Earlier on 2nd January, Mumbai Police issued a lookout notice against Ferreira after he failed to appear before them despite summons in the second week of December asking him to turn up and explain his association with the company.
Last week, the Sessions Court while granting interim protection to Ferreira from arrest till 31st January asked him to appear in person before the EOW for probing his role in the multi-crore QNet scam.
Ferreira was summoned by the EOW in connection with the Rs425-crore scam allegedly committed by multi-level marketing (MLM) operator QNet. The former world champion is founder of Faith, which was started as a distributor network under the QI brand.
Last month, while speaking with news channels, Ferreira, who has gone abroad some time back, had said he would appear before the investigators as soon as he returns to India. He even defended the controversial company.
So far the EOW has arrested nine team leaders of QNet so far for allegedly duping investors by offering to sell products such as magnetic disks, herbal products and holiday schemes through fraudulent practices.
QNet has also been accused of using the banned binary pyramid business model for their multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes to lure investors. The accused have been charged with cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Prize, Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act 1978.
Earlier this month, Gorai police booked Ferreira for allegedly forging documents for selling a plot belonging to 87-year old Cyril Edmond Henriques. According to a report from Mid-Day, in 1995, Cyril Henriques discovered that someone had started illegal construction on the land. He complained to Brihanmumbai Municipal Council (BMC), and the structures were demolished. Later, Henriques came to know that Ferreira had sold the land, pretending to be its owner. Following his complaint, police started an investigation and found that Ferreira had forged the documents.
"Even on 8 February 2000, during preparing the 'irrevocable power of attorney' Ferreira had shown that his brother Peter Dominic was present, and had signed on the paper. On that day, Peter was in Canada. On the basis of the alleged phony documents, Ferreira sold the plot to Manish Agrawal and Sanjay Agrawal for Rs11 lakh though the land’s market value then has been estimated to be Rs2.43 crore," the newspaper report said.
According to a Thomson Reuters survey on constituents of conduct risk, culture came out on top (76%), closely followed by corporate governance (74%), then conflicts of interest and reputation (both at 68%)
The findings of a new survey has shown that although conduct risk has become one of the highest priorities for regulators worldwide, there is still great disparity in how firms are defining conduct risk and similarly how regulators are referring to the concept. This is according to the Thomson Reuters Conduct Risk Report 2013.
“The last 12 months have shown increased focus on conduct risk which is not surprising due to ever-demanding regulatory requirements,” says Chris Perry, managing director, Risk, Thomson Reuters.
Key findings from the report include:
• 84% of respondents did not have a working firm-specific definition of “conduct risk”.
• Firms were in broad agreement on what constitutes conduct risk. Culture came out on top (76%), closely followed by corporate governance (74%), then conflicts of interest and reputation (both at 68%).
• Firms in Europe and Australasia have done the most work to address conduct risk, while the North America and the Middle East have done the least, according to the survey.
• Most of the changes made have been implemented in the last 12 months, suggesting that firms’ awareness of conduct risk is growing and that the emphasis which regulators are placing on consumer protection and having the right corporate culture is beginning to take hold.
• Almost two-thirds of respondents have implemented arrangements to deal with conduct risk while just over 50% of the firms surveyed reported having no, or a partly developed conduct risk appetite in place.
Remuneration was also shown as a key component to conduct risk, meaning the way in which staff are rewarded and incentivised to behave in the right way are significant factors that contribute to a firm’s culture.
Perry said, “Good conduct is good business. The cost of poor conduct is high; not just in terms of enforcement actions, now totalling in the billions of dollars, but also in the reputation damage and the wider erosion in trust that this creates across the industry, as the Thomson Reuters Trust Index reveals”.
“As the public looks to more transparency in our banks, and banks look to preserve and create value, firms and senior managers need to be able to define and measure what “good” looks like in terms of culture and customer outcomes in order to understand and respond to the implications of the regulatory focus on conduct risk,” added Perry.
Thomson Reuters Accelus surveyed more than 200 compliance and risk practitioners from financial services firms across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Middle East to find their views on how the industry is defining and dealing with conduct risk. Respondents represented firms from across the financial services sector including banks, insurers and fund managers.