RBI’s Concerns about the 'Excessive Dominance'

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19 Oct, 23 09:14
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RBI’s Concerns about the 'Excessive Dominance'

In a recent address to the directors of urban cooperativebanks(UCBs),RBIGovernorShaktikantaDashasraised concerns about the 'excessive dominance' of a select few board members, even in prominent commercial banks. GovernorDashas stronglyurgedtheseinstitutions torefrain from such practices, emphasizing the importance of fostering open, equitable, and democratic discussions within their boards. Furthermore, he expressed unwavering support for depositors, asserting that safeguarding their funds is not only a bank's paramount duty but a responsibility more sacred than any religious pilgrimage. Go v e r n o r Da s ' s remarks are intended to reassurethepublic,especially those from middle andlower-incomegroups, who remain apprehensive about the safety of their deposits in light of recent large-scale banking scandals in India. The collapse of the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank in 2019 triggered a thorough examination oftheen tireurban cooperative banking system.While GovernorDasacknowledged that the gross non-performing assets ratio of UCBs has improved to 8.7 percent, he stressed that it has yet to reach a 'comfortable' level. A significant cause for concern arises from the fact that some directors of UCBs lack the requisite expertise in creditrisk management and other critical banking aspects.Their political influence often enables them to wield disproportionate control, often to the detriment of customers who have entrusted their hard-earned money to these banks. The situation in the Kerala cooperative sector serves as a stark illustration. The Enforcement Directorate is currently investigating a Rs 150-crore scam at Karuvannur bank, which is allegedly linked to fraudulent activities within a cooperativebank controlledby theCommunistPartyofIndia (Marxist) in Thrissur. This investigation has created a political turmoil, casting doubts on the ruling Left Democratic Front.Additionally, the CPM-administeredKandalaService CooperativeBank in ruralThiruvananthapuram has lost the trust of depositors, with its assets depreciating by Rs 101 crore between 2005 and 2021, purportedly due to mismanagement and financial irregularities. Given that cooperative banks constitute a crucial pillar of the banking system, it is imperative to undertake a comprehensive cleanup not only in Kerala but also in other regions across the country

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