Saturday, October 1, 2022

PMC Bank depositors ask RBI to assure them that their money is safe

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Mumbai: Around 200 customers of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank gathered outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday and demanded an assurance from the Central bank that their deposits are safe. They also demanded that the crisis-hit PMC Bank be revived and their bank accounts be made operational so that they could withdraw their money.

“The bank can be revived because the probing agency has attached more assets of the accused than the loans given. The bank has become a sinking ship now, but we want that it should be restarted immediately,” a depositor, Satish Thapar, was quoted as saying.

PMC Bank depositors want accounts to be activated immediately

Thapar said that the depositors’ current and savings accounts with the PMC Bank should be activated with immediate effect so that “they can have their bread and butter.” “We want the RBI to come forward and issue a statement that our money is safe,” he added.

Later in the day, a five-member delegation of depositors met RBI officials and put forth their demands and grievances.

‘Why is govt mum on the issue?’

While pointing out that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has spoken on the matter, depositors asked why is the current PM, Narendra Modi, mum on the issue. “Around 16,000 account holders are suffering but the government is mum on the issue. Such a situation will leave us with no other option but to become a terrorist,” a depositor said.

Another depositor, Manoj Agarwal said, “Around six people died and we don’t know how many people more are in depression. We always heard Modiji’s ‘Man ki Baat’ but now who will listen to our voice?”

The backdrop

The RBI imposed restrictions on PMC Bank after an alleged fraud worth Rs 4,355 crores came to light. Following this, the RBI initially capped deposit withdrawals from the bank at Rs 1,000, causing panic amidst small depositors who form bulk of the bank’s account books. The Central bank later on increased the withdrawal limit to Rs 40,000.
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The crisis in the bank is being attributed to the loans given to real estate firm Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd, which were allegedly hidden from regulators’ scrutiny, turning into non-performing assets.

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