The limit for withdrawal for the depositors of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank has been increased to Rs 10,000 and it might soon be extended to Rs 1 lakh, said suspended Managing director of the bank, Joy Thomas.
“In the whole scenario, the RBI could have calculated our liquidity position much better instead of creating harm on the small or large depositors. That is why immediately after two days the withdrawal limit was increased to Rs 10,000 and further I have heard it will be increased to Rs 1 lakh,” Thomas said at a press conference on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, the RBI through a press release had allowed depositors of the bank to withdraw up to Rs 10,000 from their accounts which is ten-fold increase over the earlier limit of Rs 1,000 it had set on September 23.
Thomas further claimed that nobody had committed fraud in the matter and also accused the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) of not managing the situation in a better fashion after the bank’s officials visited it and asked it to order an inspection of the PMC’s books.
“Whatever has happened is not a fraud, nobody has run away with the money without providing security, it is a technical matter which could have been managed better,” he said.
“We ourselves went to the RBI, executive director and apprised him of our situation on September 19. On the next day, the inspecting officers came and we gave them all the information and on September 23 evening we got the order for restraining us from conducting normal banking operations and especially withdrawals more than Rs 1,000. We did not get the time, they suspended the board and gave us order,” he added.
Terming the RBI’s modus operandi “a bit harsh”, Thomas added, “Bank had sufficient liquidity, we were maintaining the required reserves under CRR and others. We feel that it is a harsh decision since we ourselves had gone to the RBI officials.”
Thomas further gave the assurance that the PMC Bank had enough security against the loans extended by it and there was no reason to worry.
“It could have been handled better by the RBI. We would have managed it in a better way. In this instance, there is a lot of confusion and rumor, we have enough liquidity and as a co-operative bank we lend only on 100 per cent security,” he said.
The matter had picked up the heat after BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had written to the banker’s bank asking to initiate criminal conspiracy against the board members of both PMC Bank and HDIL.