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RBI hikes withdrawal limit for PMC Bank customers to Rs 25,000

RBI hikes withdrawal limit for PMC Bank customers to Rs 25,000

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday enhanced the withdrawal limit for depositors of the scam-hit Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank) to Rs 25,000 from Rs 10,000 per account over the next six month.

This is the second time the regulator has increased the withdrawal limits since its clamped down on the bank on September 23 when it had capped it a low Rs 1,000 per customer which led to lot of distress and criticism.

Since then PMC, which was among the top 10 cooperative banks with a deposit of over Rs 11,600 crore, is under an administrator appointed by the RBI and the past management is being probed by the economic offences wing of the city police.

PMC Bank scam: 2 HDIL directors held, Rs 3,500 crore assets frozen

Rakesh Wadhwan and his son Sarang Wadhwan, directors of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited were arrested by Mumbai Police on Thursday in the Rs 4,355 cr Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank cheating case probe. Non-repayment of Rs 4,355 cr loan led to panic among the account holders. The police has also seized Rs 3,500 crore property of the company.

“We again reviewed PMC Bank’s liquidity position and with a view to reducing the hardship of depositors, have decided to further enhance the limit for withdrawal to Rs 25,000 (during the pendency of the six months operational restrictions on the bank),” RBI said in a statement.

With the above relaxation, more than 70 per cent of the depositors of the bank will be able to withdraw their entire account balance, the central bank said as most of its account holders have an average balance of just about Rs 10,000. The total retail deposit is worth Rs 915 crore.

The regulator further said it has also decided to appoint a three-member committee to assist the administrator JB Bhoria.

The Reserve Bank is monitoring the position of the bank very closely and will continue to take necessary steps in the interest of depositors, it added.

PMC Bank jitter may trigger second round of crisis

The trouble in Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank, one of the top 5 in the segment, is threatening to trigger a second round of crisis of confidence in the sector. Many depositors are playing it safe & choosing to spread their investments and several cooperative societies are reviewing their decision to keep a bulk of deposits with cooperative banks.

On September 23, RBI had put regulatory restrictions on the bank after finding irregularities, and misreporting of loans given to real estate developer HDIL, with whom it has an exposure of a whopping 73 per cent or Rs 6,500 crore of its total loan book of Rs 8,880 crore. The entire loan has been NPA for the past two-three years.
The restriction included barring the bank from lending and accepting fresh deposits. It also superseded the board and the management of the bank and appointed an ex-RBI official as the administrator at the bank.
The RBI had initially set the withdrawal limit of Rs 1,000 per account but it was later increases to Rs 10,000 per account on September 26 for six months.

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