The stink coming from Dhanlaxmi Bank: AIBOC raises serious allegations
Moneylife Digital Team 10 October 2011

In a memorandum to the RBI, AIBOC has raised several questions over Dhanlaxmi Bank’s business operations

After whistleblowers raised a red flag raising questions about the operations of Dhanlaxmi Bank, the All-India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) has alerted the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding the bank’s wrongdoing. Specifically, it has alleged that the bank has manipulated accounts and provisioning, has a mismatch in asset-liability resources, maintains poor capital adequacy ratio and has huge dependence on call money borrowing.

It has also accused the bank for ignoring social banking and financial inclusion.
AIBOC’s Kerala committee, through a memorandum sent to the RBI, has appealed to the apex bank and the finance ministry, to initiate investigations against the bank management and asked it to merge it with any public sector bank to safeguard the interest of employees and the customers of the bank.

Speaking about the obvious mismatch in the asset-liability, it is stated in the memorandum that, “The Bank’s liquidity position is potentially dangerous with the enormous proportion of Inter Bank deposit in its deposit mix. Out of the Rs13,000 crore  of  deposits (that) the  Bank  has,  around  70% are  purchased funds, i.e., Inter  Bank deposits (Rs1,600 crore), Certificate of Deposits (Rs2,500) crore and other ‘special-rate’ quoted deposits (at) Rs5,000 crore.”

According to the memorandum, the bank is heavily dependent on call money borrowing. “The average call money borrowing in the last one year is Rs300 crore per day. In fact, the Bank is borrowing from the call money market heavily since the last two years and is lending it with a margin in violation of the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India.”

AIBOC says in the memorandum that the bank’s growth has be stunted with 50% fall in current deposits, from Rs1,500 crore to Rs790 crore, and sharp decline in its profit to Rs3 crore in the first quarter of 2011 from Rs55 crore in 2009. It also says, “Advances grew by 10% (Rs900 crore), but out of this, Rs550 crore are not retail loans, but “buyouts”.

The memorandum has cautioned the RBI about non-performing assets (NPAs) turning into bad debts, which would severely affect the bank. “The Bank’s capital adequacy ratio at present is touching 9%, and this can come down at any moment, in case a big loan turns (into an) NPA. The asset portfolio of the Bank is also equally daunting with more than 20% constituted by ‘buyouts’ and another 40% by corporate advances. The composition and health of these loans are not individually scrutinized and therefore have  grave risk (of) further mounting of NPAs once these loans turn into bad debts for which there is every possibility.”  

It further states that the bank has manipulated accounts and various provisions. “The  available information is that the Bank adopted a lot of unscrupulous methods to show  at least a nominal profit in the last one year. Deferring expenses like salary paid to  executives, telephone, rent, ATM expenses, capitalizing revenue expenses like salary  paid to staff etc are frequently practiced by the Bank.”  

According to the AIBOC’s memorandum to the apex bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank recruited many new officers without uniform salary structure. “There is no policy for fixing remuneration of C to C employees. It depends on the relative bargaining strength of the new recruits. There is no transparency on the “performance linked bonus” or “joining bonus”, or “committed bonus” paid to C to C employees.”  

AIBOC’s Kerala unit says, “The organizational structure has been revised umpteen times in the last 30 months. New “verticals” have come up but not stabilized because  of the frequent  changes. Some functions are duplicated, others neglected.”

The memorandum said that the bank has been avoiding granting loans to the priority sector such as small agricultural loans, educational loans, etc.  

In fact, according to sources close to the development, AIBOC’s Kerala State Committee is holding a dharna in front of the regional office of the RBI in Thiruvananthapuram on this contentious issue.

Incidentally, according to AIBOC, there was detailed inspection by the RBI on Dhanlaxmi Bank. The apex bank, after coming out with “detailed inspection in Dhanlaxmi Bank, has come out with alarming facts about all the above and has asked the Bank to provide more than Rs100 crore towards the unaccounted expenses and  provisions by debiting the net worth of the Bank.”

Dhanlaxmi Bank has refused to comment on the issue. It said that, “Like all banks, we are also regulated by the RBI and the growth is monitored by the regulator periodically. The baseless allegations are being spread by some people who are trying to spoil the image of the bank.”

dheenadhayalan rti activist
1 decade ago
the accounting procedures in the banks are malefide. the banks can publish any Annual reports claiming profits. dhanalakshmi bank is no exception. the financial sector is managed by 3 institutions ( fin.min, RBI & Banks) having conflict of interest in each others working and always work in connivance.
through RTI the susceptibility of the system is proved by me in the RBI But even the media do not have the guts to take on the banks.
1 decade ago
i am an uncompromised intelligence reporter of the dhanalakshmi bank since 1976 exposed corrutpion
1 decade ago
i am highlighting malpractices of various officials belongs to various branches being a confidential intelligence officer of the bank appointed by chairman Mr N.S.Mahadevan since 1976 i am discharging my duties and highlighting wrong doings kastky filed cases in trichur courts and high court of kerala against the bank and contested for administrative panel for AGM DEMANDING TO DEBATE THE ISSUES AND TO IDENTIFY THE PERPETRATORS AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE WHICH THE BANK SUPPRESS AND SUBMITTED IRRESPONSIBLE STATEMENTS TO TORPEDO JUSTICE HAVE NO RESPECT OVER THE JUDICIAL OFFICERS OR CBI POLICE AND WANTS TO SUPPRESS WRONG DOINGS AT THE COST OF INDIAN ECONOMY
dheenadhayalan rti activist
Replied to TSRAJAMANY comment 1 decade ago
you are one of the rarest of rare citizen having fair doubts about the honesty of the PSU banks. it is amazing to know that you are fighting it out for over 36 years.
1 decade ago
you should check bulk share deals in the last 12 months. Should be an eye opener
1 decade ago
hey guys! relax. the bank will be announcing results on 20th. why don't you chill till then? let the results speak for themselves.
sameer jn
Replied to Ashish comment 1 decade ago
Actually that would be foolish. If one reads the bank union's letter, they talk about massive window dressing. Investors depending on dressed up results will really catch a major CHILL!!!!!!!!
Kunal Sehgal
1 decade ago
I am aware of Ms. Dalal's long-standing reputation as a responsible financial journalist. That's precisely why I am anguished at the way she's insinuating that Dhanlaxmi Bank is going the Global Trust Bank way. GTB happened a decade ago! Back.then, RBI's systems of surveillance were far less stringent. To suggest that RBI is knowingly turning a blind eye to Dhanlaxmi Bank's alleged excesses is unfair. I believe the Dhanlaxmi is set to declare its quarterly results next week. Will MoneyLife be prepared to publish a corrigendum if its allegations are proved to be incorrect?
Replied to Kunal Sehgal comment 1 decade ago
Mr Sehgal, dont you think you should be addressing these comments to Dhanalakshmi Bank and its Communications Department?

The management does not want to meet us. That usually happens when they have something to hide. As we have repeatedly pointed out, they did not answer any specific question and resorted to the most ludicrous evasive responses. Are you a shareholder? If you are anguished in your capacity as an investor, I would strongly advocate that you question the management and ask them why they failed to respond to our questions for over two weeks. Even before publication we wrote to them ONCE again asking if they wanted to change their mind and answer questions. They said NO.
So where is the question of a corrigendum? Do you have some facts that are not in the public domain? If yes, let them be provided to all investors. Otherwise, I am afraid you sound like the voice of management.
1 decade ago
Corruption, fraud, deceit, fudging and many more actions have reached monumental proportions. The cause appears to be monumental neglect of Government, Governance, Regulations, Oversight functions, Responsible Civil Society, Apathy of people, Extended honey moon period of the joy of freedom, Blissfully ignoring the cancerous role of hijacking of institutional mechanisms by elected representatives, Use of corruption as spring board by Elected Politicians, Institutionalization of the attitude that corruption in society or nation is like DNA to Human race without which there can be no human, (broadly under one phrase “Checks and balances”) and so on and so forth since 1947. Now the solace for political parties as well as people (Voters) is that any way corruption (covers a large number ranging from day to day bribes to fly by night business shops to mega companies to mega schemes to mega scams to balance sheets fudging to harassment of employees {Senior Colleague-Junior Colleague kind} in offices, organizations, adulteration, duplicate business ( ---the list is very long) has become incurable cancer and it is impossible to get out of it and hence it will be useless to support any one on this issue. If at all anybody supports this he would be an idiot and indulging in doing anything about it is madness. So the net result is Human race has two substances that separate life from death that is corruption and life material (so far it has not been discovered) which means Human is dead without corruption.
Sucheta Dalal
1 decade ago
We notice that comments like those of Nishant Menon seem to be the voice of the management. Please read our story about how much time was given to management to responde
In fact, our report stuck to only those issues raised by the Officers Union - while we had posed several more queries to management.
The bank's response was to arrogantly refuse to answer and to subtly threaten us.
They were given more than two weeks of time and before publication, we wrote to the bank once again to ask if they wanted to change their mind.
It is disgusting that listed companies should react only when the stock price has fallen and the story is picked up by mainstream media.
That is fine by us, but to post comments to discredit our writing is not acceptable.
As for the RBI - even in the Corporation Bank case we repeatedly asked them about charges against the Chairman. The RBI did nothing. Finally it was the CVC that initiated action.
So we wouldn't read too much into the RBI's silence.
Remember they were silent and in fact supportive of Global Trust Bank despite its openly known shenanigans with Ketan Parekh, right until the day it collapsed. And this was under a powerful RBI Governor!

Suchet a
Replied to Sucheta Dalal comment 1 decade ago
I fully agree with sucheta maam. Rbi has not been the watchdog that it is expected to be. It was RBIs failure that allowed harshad mehta to misuse the bankers receipts and commit a massive fraud. NO one from RBI was ever held accountable for the same. AIBOC or any other officersor employees union would not make such grave charges without some basis . The bank is within its rights to decline to answer moneylife but it does not mean that everything is above board in its functioning.
1 decade ago
Certain sections of the media have recently reported financial irregularities at Dhanlaxmi Bank, citing statements from one of the Bank’s employee associations.
Dhanlaxmi Bank today reiterated that all such allegations are baseless and represent a motivated attempt by one of the employee associations de-recognized by the Bank.
The association has accused that the Bank has borrowed high cost funds in the form of Certificate of Deposits of about Rs 2,500 crore, whereas the fact is: The Bank has a limit of raising Rs 1,500 crore through Certificate of Deposits. There are multiple examples of such falsification of accounts by the association.
The Indian banking system in general and the private sector banks in particular, including Dhanlaxmi Bank, are subject to healthy supervision in the form of regulations from the Reserve Bank of India. In fact, the apex bank in May 2011 conducted and completed the Annual Financial Inspection of the Bank's overall performance.
Moreover, the central bank only last week also granted the Bank's MD & CEO, Mr Amitabh Chaturvedi, a second term of three years. The re-appointment is an affirmation of the fact that the audits and inspection into the Bank's books have found nothing amiss.
In the past three years, the Bank has witnessed excellent growth and healthy financials with deposits growing from Rs 3,608 crore in FY08 to Rs 12,530 crore in FY11 (247% growth) and loans from Rs. 2,102 crore to Rs. 9,065 crore (over 330% growth). This performance bears testimony to the support and the confidence the Bank enjoys from its customers, regulators and other stakeholders.
It is pertinent to mention that the number of employees in the said association is minuscule and is currently less than 10 % of the bank’s workforce. The campaign therefore seems to be the handiwork of some misguided employees and some rank outsiders who have no stake in the well-being of the institution.
This is an illegal and unscrupulous tactics to defame the franchise of the bank.
Boodugere Nagaraj
1 decade ago
Why Management version is not published ? We watched the Chairman of the Bank giving replies to the commentators on CNBC this morning, and it was convincing. I also wonder why these anomolies have not been pointed out by Statutory Auditors and RBI Inspectors who conduct periodical inspections ? Should it come as a surprise to RBI or Govt ? Then RBI should be taken to task. If the allegations raised by the Bank Officers Union is false, then RBI should initiate criminal action against Union Office bearers, for their attempt to shake the investors confidence in Banking institutions.
1 decade ago
People are too keen to notice that some establishment is on a collapse. The bank has been in the industry for the last 84 years, but the last four years have witnessed the real impact of a good management. The re branding, placement of the bank as a new gen tech based bank with its 84 years of heritage unstolen. This has created head aches for many including the competitors, some employees who were forced to do their works properly etc.

I think these kind of allegations are not to be given any kind of attention/importance. I believe there are some bad, crooked intentions behind the same. Dhanlaxmi Bank is being regulated by RBI, and so is the industry as a whole.
1 decade ago
Kudos for the expose which was going on for some time in the Dhanalakshmi Bank. But don't expect RBI will do anything. It will enter only when the Bank fails like the famous Hindi film policeman. The case of former CMD of Corporation Bank is a pointer. After the CVC Direct Inquiry, RBI sent its inspection team. It reeled out special reports, but no action. And the CMD happily retired scot-free in the last month. Long live RBI!!
T R Bhat
1 decade ago
The memorandum to RBI should open the eyes of the regulator and the Ministry of Finance. They should take stern, corrective action immediately in the interest of the banking public,employees and other stake holders. But will they act or will they bolt the stable after the horse flees (as it happened in the case of Nedungadi Bank in Kerala)?
1 decade ago
Difficult times-need to exercise great caution while placing deposits.Thanks,ML,for such informative articles.
Bhaskar jain
1 decade ago
Thanks for the article.. That is why they were offering high rates for FD.. When other banks are offering sub 9%, they offer 10+%
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