The Reserve Bank on Friday extended the regulatory restrictions on Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank by another six months till December 2021 to enable the completion of its takeover by Centrum Financial Services. Paving the way for takeover of the crisis-ridden bank, the RBI had earlier in the month granted in-principle approval to Centrum Financial Services to set up a small finance bank (SFB).
"Taking into account the time required for completion of various activities involved in the process...the validity of the ...Directive dated September 23, 2019, as modified from time to time, has been extended for a further period from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, subject to review," the RBI said in a notification.
In September 2019, the RBI had superseded the board of PMC Bank and placed it under regulatory restrictions, including cap on withdrawals by customers, after detection of certain financial irregularities, hiding and misreporting of loans given to real estate developer HDIL. The restrictions have been extended several times since then.
Initially, the RBI had allowed depositors to withdraw Rs 1,000, which was later raised to Rs 1 lakh per account to mitigate their difficulties. In June 2020, the RBI had extended the regulatory restrictions on the cooperative bank by six months till December 22, 2020. Later it was further extended till June 30, 2021.
In response to an Expression of Interest (EOI) floated by PMC Bank for its reconstruction in November 2020, certain proposals were received. After careful consideration, the RBI said, the proposal from Centrum Financial Services along with Resilient Innovation was found to be prima facie feasible.
Accordingly, the RBI on June 18, 2021 granted ''in-principle'' approval to Centrum Financial Services to set up a small finance bank under the general guidelines for ''on tap'' Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector.
PMC Bank had invited EoI from eligible investors for investment/ equity participation for its reconstruction and had received four proposals. To launch the SFB, the Centrum Group has formed an equal joint venture with Resilient Innovations, an arm of Gurugram-based BharatPe. But Centrum Capital will be the promoter of SFB, under the prevailing laws.
The joint venture will infuse Rs 1,800 crore capital into PMC, Jaspal Bindra, executive chairman of Centrum Group had said.
As of March 31, 2020, PMC Bank's total deposits stood at Rs 10,727.12 crore and total advances at Rs 4,472.78 crore. Gross NPAs were at Rs 3,518.89 crore at end-March, 2020.