Money & Banking
Used to getting away scot-free, bankers ‘upset’ about corruption charges

Loot at banks and the burying of investigation have followed a similar pattern for decades. Will the Modi government call the bluff of bankers and force an indifferent RBI to act?

 

After running up fresh bad loans of Rs4.95 lakh crore in just seven years, public sector banks (PSBs) seem to be resorting to their usual tactic to get the government off its back.

 

After the arrest of Syndicate Bank chairman & managing director (CMD) SK Jain and the promoter of Bhushan Steel, Neeraj Singhal, banks have gone into what they describe as “panic mode”. This is essentially like a doctors’ strike, which hits patients the most.

 

Bankers are claiming to be so ‘upset’ with the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) action in tapping phones and tracking the dubious deals of public sector bank chairmen, that they won’t take calls from borrowers anymore.

 

Bankers, including central bankers, tell us that nobody in banks wants to take decisions anymore. This is now a familiar pattern and going on for decades. Harassed borrowers then approach politicians and all investigations stop. At the root of the problem is the Reserve Bank of India, which has refused to act.

 

In connection with our article, “Rot at the Top” about lack of accountability in Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and public sectors banks, Mr MR Sivaraman, a highly regarded retired Revenue Secretary of the union government, wrote to us with an interesting story about RBI’s negligence.

 

In my time in 1995 we uncovered a scandal in the South Indian Bank in Mumbai which was accepting cash in gunny bags and opening foreign letters of credit (LOCs) in Hong Kong etc. on the production of forged bills of entry of electronic goods allegedly imported from Hong Kong”. The amount involved was around Rs270 crore.

 

Mr Sivaraman says, “That alerted me and I wrote to chairmen of all banks and discovered that this was the modus operandi of certain hawala operators and many banks had lost foreign exchange in this manner but had been cleared by the RBI during inspections. I took exception and wrote to the then Governor Dr Rangarajan about RBI's lapses. He kept mum.

 

Then Dr (Manmohan) Singh unusually asked me to move into the RBI and investigate how they neglected such a huge hawala operation. I did not do it to preserve the integrity of the RBI. But Rangarajan did not act. Ravi Vir Gupta, who was Deputy Governor (at that time), assured me that they would act. They did not and only (Governor) Bimal Jalan acted to stop the practice.

 

What happened to the case? There was another 'Harshad Mehta' who was the king pin. But the officer who arrested him, Prabhat Kumar, a brilliant IRS officer in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at that time in Mumbai, was shunted out by the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. He apparently resigned -- that is what I understand as I left for Washington after the case was well on to the courts.

 

This is just a summary as the whole case was more thrilling as it involved some prostitutes, bank accounts in Hong Kong, false passports of the prostitutes and so on.

This is just to show that the RBI has never been infallible and there have been officers who were very lax and allowed things to drift”.

 

Mr Sivaraman has named names and we have not sought the feedback of those who he has named. We will however, incorporate their response, if any. Mr Sivaraman’s mail shows that loot at banks and the burying of investigation has followed a similar pattern irrespective of which government is in power. It remains to be seen if the Narendra Modi government will act differently and call the bluff of bankers and force the Reserve Bank to act.

 

Things are indeed slightly different this time, because the numbers are scary. Also, top bankers, guilty of colluding their large borrowers, don’t have the support of their rank and file staff or their trade unions.

Fresh bad loans of Rs4.95 lakh crore in just seven years!

(Public Sector Banks)

Fresh/new NPAs during 2009-10

Rs44,818 crore

Fresh/new NPAs during 2010-11

Rs58,226 crore

Fresh/new NPAs during 2012-13

Rs92,808 crore

Fresh/new NPAs during 2012-13

Rs1,19,613 crore

Fresh bad loans in the last 4 years (2009 to 2013 )

Rs3,15,465 crore

Fresh bad loans in the last 7 years (2007 to 2013 )

Rs4,94,836 crore

 

In a letter addressed to the chief election commissioner (CEC) in March 2014,

CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) wrote: “What is disturbing is that amounts involved in wilful default of bank loans are also increasing. Some of these defaulters are holding high positions. One of the borrower companies in which a central minister is directly connected is also a defaulter to the tune of Rs350 crore. Two top loan defaulters are Padma Sri Awardees and owing to banks Rs930 crore and Rs580 crore, respectively . Another top defaulter is a member of the Rajya Sabha owing to the banks more than Rs6,000 crore.

 

Hence, besides various other existing disqualifications as provided under the Constitution and the Representation of People Act, 1951, a specific provision should be added to debar and disqualify candidates from contesting in the ensuing elections to the Lok Sabha, if they or the companies in which they are connected are defaulters of loans to Banks.

 

We seek your urgent attention in this regard for doing the needful.”

 

People have high hopes from the Modi government. In a recent meeting in Haryana, Narendra Modi promised action to root out corruption. Public sector banks are one concentrated source of corruption right under the nose of ministry of finance and Reserve Bank of India.

User

COMMENTS

Dayananda Kamath k

3 years ago

what about the gold gate allowing opening third party l/c based on the letter given by nominated agencies to import gold to bullion dealers and jewelers. after 5 years of reporting it rbi issued a circular that it is unauthorized transaction. but did not initiate action under fema against bankers nominated agency officers who facilitated these imports without any authority under exim policy. funnily when they issued the circular i wrote to them that even silver and platinum also being imported under same method they banned that also. but not acted on offenders. i wrote to the enforcement directorate also. but till date no action has been taken. for bringing out such and many other irregularities in gold banking and investment banking and forex transactions i was transferred out of the department and forced to commit the actions which i commented as auditor. and forced to go on leave not to do such transactions. and eased out of bank for insubordination. and even the highcourt judge in his judgement says the penalty is disproportionate but do not reinstate, he is stickler for rules hence may be given golden hand shake. and the appeal judge says golden hand shake does not mean anything extra and dismiss the appeal. if this is the attitude what you can expect in banking.

REPLY

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 3 years ago

They act whose hands are clean,unclean hands do not act,they fear taking action,knowing well that they would also face action or exposure of their corrupt deeds.

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 3 years ago

I would gladly help you co-author a book and the choice of whether you wish to do it semi-fiction identities shielded using the art of insinuation or straight non-fiction is yours.

Dayananda Kamath k

In Reply to Veeresh Malik 3 years ago

welcome and thank you for your offer and am prepared to give all the materials and anecdotes. you can choice is yours.

V Narayanan

In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 3 years ago

Straight trees are cut first. I do not say, but the great Chanakya says in his Arthasahtra. Pen down your experiences and feelings for the benefit of the honest bankers.

Dayananda Kamath k

In Reply to V Narayanan 3 years ago

sure i am thinking about the same and veeresh malikji has given an offer.and have accepted it. let us hope it will help in cleansing the banking system.even now if the supreme court or govt of india wants to act they have to just reopen my complaints to them. and i am prepared to give all the assistance.

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 3 years ago

If you will want to include the dishonest claims of RBI executives I shall give the evidence received through RTI.

V Narayanan

In Reply to Dayananda Kamath k 3 years ago

Good All the best in your efforts.

manhar kothari

3 years ago

defaulters name should be published periodically in National News papers and their properties attached.No new loans given and also debarred from holding any public post.
Concerned Bank officers be given negative remarks.
Process of giving loan be made transparent.

REPLY

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to manhar kothari 3 years ago

Attachment of properties is cumbersome process in our country,since the slow Judiciary is always at the rescue of such unscrupulous persons.It is only possible if the original and not the diluted Lokpal bill of Anna Hazare comes into existence,which is impossible in India and the word "impossible" would prove, that Napoleon was wrong when he said nothing is impossible.

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to manhar kothari 3 years ago

Such officers do not care for such negative marks,they are concerned with earning money by corrupt means,ultimately money is everything for such coward people,who steal it or rob it in an illegal manner.With such money they pretend to be happy but are not .Ultimately ill gotten wealth is spend by such officials children on drugs,drinks etc etc..

Raghavaiah Kurapati

3 years ago

Because of these losses due to bad loans thus sanctioned, banks with support of RBI charge ordinary savings bank account holders (who are helping banks with low cost funds) for every petty service.
Even ATM transactions are rationed.
Actually bankers must learn to avoid the customer visit to bank premises by freeing all transactions via internet or ATM cards including mobile banking.
What for the computerisation introduced when every transaction outside parent branch is charged.
I do not know when will the people realise to do the required corrections.

S K Nataraj

3 years ago

Aren't there better ways to
protect asset quality? Can't the defaulters be arrested and
their assets seized? Why should not the names of all these top defaulters be made public and released to the media, so that the problem of bad loans and wilful defaulters can be highlighted. Some strong, drastic measures are needed if we really want to put an end to the menace of bad loans, wilful defaults etc. But is the RBI and the Min of Finance game for it? More than that is the political will simply there? The present attitude of "Chalta Hai, who cares" has got to go first.

V Narayanan

3 years ago

There are few black sheeps in the banking industry as in any other organisation; but it does not mean that every bank employee is dishonest. More over any credit decision may be a good decision and need not be a correct decision and postmortem of a case may reveal certain lapses not only in banking matters but in any other matter as well. You should examine whether due intelligence was lacking in that decision leading to fraud.

REPLY

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to V Narayanan 3 years ago

Good people are less and not powerful and they are overshadowed by the gang of corrupt.

Dhoot Usha

In Reply to Ramesh B Mhadlekar 3 years ago

I agree with you. When my husband had raised the voice against the corrupt practice against of seniors in RBI , to gag his voice I received threatening letter and the Governor whom I complained was helpless and could not do anything till date. Incidentally when I compalined against a particular officer with name my complaint was invesigated by the accused only.

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to V Narayanan 3 years ago

How do you say "few" Narayanan Ji, when 100% of all CPIOs/PIOs/AAs in the banking industry in India use every trick possible to hide even the most basic of information from citizens?

How do you say "few" Narayanan Ji, when I tell you that basis a few hundred consortium minutes by banks that I have read, I can spot everybody barring a few specific exceptions like Saraswat Bank and Yes Bank to be nodding heads and agreeing to flagrantly amazing minutes like sheep?

How can you say "few" when you look at RBI's report on NPAs and see what the NPA levels are at please?

Please don't insult our intelligence. Please work towards getting more transparency from banks. Thank you.

V Narayanan

In Reply to Veeresh Malik 3 years ago

Dear Malikji, I am not insulting ur intelligence nor I support dishonest bankers. As i said, a credit decision may be at best a good decision at that particular point of time but not necessarily be a CORRECT decision. Therefore it is easy to criticise a decision at a latter date. In a competitive business environment sometimes decisions do go wrong. Ships are safe at port; but that was not meant for building a ship.

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to V Narayanan 3 years ago

Dear Narayanan Ji,

All business is built around risk taking abilities, so banking is no different, and we all know that so chances of some things going wrong is not rocket science.

What is very wrong is if some banks have NPAs between 0.00% to 0.20% and others have NPAs between 5%-10% in otherwise equal conditions in India. Let those banks which have NPAs over, say, 4% or even 5% have their NPAs handled by the banks that have NPAs below 1%, what do you think?

Popular perception on the street, from the cleaning person in the bank to the tea-man to the parking-lot attendant is that banks of late are more crooked than any other segment of society in India. Simple as that.

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

In Reply to Veeresh Malik 3 years ago

Why CPIO's,AA's of banking industry is to be blamed,the main culprit is the APEX Bank which is using every trick to evade replies.
IN RBI it is a standard format "No Information is Available",When you appeal the AA gives decision that when no information is available,CPIO cannot create information.The best joke is they do not have information for the perquisites which their executives are claiming,a bluff by the bluff masters.
It is nothing but a mockery of the RTI Act by the corrupt in the Banking industry,who have looted and plundered the country shamelessly. When Apex Bank is not a Central Government but an Autonomous Body,yet it has affixed Central Government Stickers on the official Cars dishonestly or fraudulently to avail of dishonest benefits meant for Central Government employees viz. parking slots at Airport,Railway Station,avoiding toll taxes ,getting a salute from the poor traffic constable,not knowing the persons travelling in such vehicle are not Central Government Servant and when information was sought under the RTI,the patent answer was "No information Available"What a bluff by the CPIO who can be called a bluff master,since I have the evidence with me to prove my allegations.
Thus the Regulatory authority of banks should be wound up like the planning commission and an independent body should be constituted comprising of various investigative agencies by the present Government and lastly the RBI should come under the ambit of CAG and I am sure many head will roll in RBI.

Veeresh Malik

3 years ago

I have over a dozen Public Sector/Government banks in the commercial complex opposite my house. The munceepaltee guys, whose trip I take for issues of sanitation, horticulture, environment etcetc now point at the banks and ask me directly - what are we doing about the REAL thieves?

They have a very valid point.

Ramesh Poapt

3 years ago

What a shocking news! FM just today tried to protect banks' wrongdoers..

Rakesh Goyal

3 years ago

If this Rs. 4.95 lakhs crores is recovered and spend on NaMo's dream schemes, consider it's effect on GDP and poverty.

This is no hypothetical or unknown figure, as in the case of black money abroad.

In a way, these defaulters and their supporters / allies are criminals of India, conspired to keep Indians below poverty line.

Does NaMo government has political will to recover this money. I believe that a big part of the NPA can be recovered.

Further, CH Venkatachalam letter to CEC must be implemented and all bank / public wilful defaulters (beyond a limit) must be barred to hold any statuary or constitutional post till they clear default. If a company is a defaulter, all it's directors must be covered for that default.

REPLY

Dhoot Usha

In Reply to Rakesh Goyal 3 years ago

Who will bell the Cat? The RBI officials, who should show the concern, are busy in rewarding their own top officials as appears from the comments of Ramesh B. Mhadlekar. How a layman can expect justice from these officials. When my husband did not fall in their line he was put into pecuniary loss, promotion etc. etc. and I was rewarded with the threatening letter from the officials of RBI. Even the Governor of RBI seems to be helpless in taking action against these officials. It is easy to say about transparency by The RBI Governor but he failed to put his house in order.

Ashwini Barua

3 years ago

If you have GMR on the RBI Board and people like him then what can you expect.

Suiketu Shah

3 years ago

India badly needs Dr Swamy as FM.Several of such problems are interlinked and his way of solving wl solve the problems in India from the root in a few yrs like this one.

Simple Indian

3 years ago

While Mr. Jain has been caught for a much bigger scam, people much lower down the line, like Branch Managers get 'generous' gifts from shady firms for services like getting extended OD facility, cash management charges waiver/reduction, etc. Hence, corruption in cash or kind exists at much lower levels in all Banks. It's a pity none of these Banks have a credible or effective internal Vigilance Dept. which can monitor and prevent frauds much earlier.

REPLY

Dayananda Kamath k

In Reply to Simple Indian 3 years ago

cvc rbi,finance minister, pmo, even presidents of india are protectors and supporters of corrupt. then what you can talk of small fry.

manoharlalsharma

3 years ago

RIPE TIME 4 Bankers r to be UNITED and EXPOSE the names MEDIATORS of on behalf POLITICIANS force them to do,such WRONG and PRESSURIZE.

Prem Bajaj

3 years ago

why is Indian society so SICK and PERVERSE to the development of its own (children's) future. Is this what hinduism is all about - the Mahabharata and so on....

REPLY

MOHAN

In Reply to Prem Bajaj 3 years ago


Please explain how this article is related to Hinduism?

JNM RAO

3 years ago

Excellent work, revealation and it should open eyes of this ruling party as NDA was a specatator when Rangarajan didnt act! I am an optimist and confident that Modi Govt will take time, but act for sure. I understand that the Author is restless when i forwarded one of her previous TWEETS to FM, RBI and others, but will continue to do the same in future! Hope for the best.

Ravindra

3 years ago

Rangrajan was one of the CHAPLOOS of the Ruling Party ans that is why he always got posted somewhere or other to keep his income in tact. In return he has to give the decisions as guided by the Ruling Party. Doubling the Gas Price is the Zenith of his CHAPLOOSI, of the Ruling Party and possibly the Benficiaries of the doubling of the Gas Prices. Will there be an enquiry into his activities and his Properties?

REPLY

S.S.A.Zaidi

In Reply to Ravindra 3 years ago

I tend to agree with Ravingra .I have suffered for my uprightntess
when i did not agree ro do what i was askrd to do-competence is not the criteian
actually psychphants ,fixers,brokers ,agents are the decinding figures

Pulse Beat

Medical developments from around the world

 

Anti-psychotic Drugs May Cause Brain Damage


Professor Grace Elizabeth Jackson, formerly of the US Naval Medical Service, had written an exhaustive book on how dementia is the result of medicating psychiatric patients with anti-depressants. Her book, Drug-induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime, was based on her vast experience in the field.

Now comes a bigger bombshell. Researchers from the University of Oulu (Finland) have published a paper in the prestigious journal PLOS ONE, on how simple anti-psychotic drugs, like chlorpromazine, a derivative of naphtha, can shrink brain cells in patients with schizophrenia, even those who are as young as 30 years of age. Brain cells start shrinking naturally around the mid-30s, but patients taking the drug, who had been observed for nine years, consistently showed brain cells shrinking across the board, in all parts of the brain.

The moral of the story is that, in reductionist drug therapy prevalent in modern medicine, the patient’s safety is under constant threat. We have not yet understood how the human mind works. So the theory that one disease can be taken care of by one drug, seems to be seriously flawed. To complicate matters, we now get daily reports of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) harming more and more patients; and these ADRs are one of the leading causes of death!

Yogurt for Healthy Blood


When it comes to treatment, that too of such feared diseases as raised blood pressure, people remain unconvinced that they could use natural methods to correct the abnormality. But several studies inform us that probiotics can do wonders. Consumption of cultured yogurt and Indian dahi is the best form of natural probiotic therapy.

A paper published recently in Hypertension reports that the overall result of nine randomised controlled studies showed how yogurt could effectively control mild to moderately elevated blood pressure. Interestingly, it is as effective as, if not more than, the common drugs used to treat hypertension.  

Potassium Ions Are Vital for Our Bodies


Lay people usually do not recognise the importance of potassium ions for health.

 

Potassium is a vital element that controls the electrolyte acid base balance in the system, regulates water balance, helps in many chemical processes in the body like energy metabolism, and helps synthesise proteins in cells, thus helping us grow muscles. It also helps convert glucose in the blood to storable glycogen, to be kept inside the liver for use on a rainy day. Potassium also helps nerve conduction which is vital for all our body functions. The best source of potassium is the humble banana. Normal adults require up to 4,500 micrograms of potassium a day; children need a little less. Even though potassium is not as important as magnesium, which is hard to come by in our daily diet, it plays a vital role in the functioning of our body.

Foods for Women with Heavy Menstrual Flow


Avoid starchy foods. Avoid dairy products. Eat plenty of fruits,  vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, other leafy vegetables, and take virgin coconut oil. Sugar and carbohydrates abet excess flow. So, replace all heavy carbs with low-carb foods like avocados, Brussels sprouts and cabbages.

User

Indian market trends

The Sensex and the Nifty rose 2% each during the fortnight ended 13th August. ML Mega-cap Index advanced 3%. ML Mid-cap Index rose 1%. ML Large-cap Index and ML Small-cap Index fell 1% each. ML Micro-cap Index declined 2%. 

 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)