Beleaguered Banks' Depositors Protest "Inaction" At Bengaluru RBI Office

Depositors of the PMC and Sri Gururaghavendra Cooperative banks, both under the Reserve Bank of India's lens for financial irregularities, have sought government intervention to access their now-stuck money.

Depositors of the PMC and Sri Gururaghavendra Cooperative banks protested near RBI office in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru:

A year to the day since India's central bank imposed regulatory restrictions on the PMC Bank, its depositors and ALSO those of THE beleaguered Sri Gururaghavendra Cooperative Bank protested near the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) headquarters in Bengaluru this morning demanding intervention to withdraw all their money, which is stuck in these financial institutions.

On September 23 last year the RBI had put restrictions on the PMC Bank after getting wind of certain financial irregularities, hiding and misreporting of loans given to real estate developer HDIL.

In January, the RBI started investigating Sri Gururaghavendra Cooperative Bank for financial irregularities and imposed restrictions, which remain in force. The withdrawal limit or depositors was Rs 35,000 announced in January and increased to Rs 1 lakh in June. Depositors queued up to withdraw their money eben in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the restrictions continue, depositors are protesting against, according to them, a slow probe, lack of political concern and RBI's inaction in the matter.

"The crimes were done by management, but the depositors are the sufferers. This is injustice... Most of the depositors are senior citizens. Many of them have medical problems, children's education, marriage... Their daily survival has become a problem because they had put all their money in these banks and are completely dependent on the interest," Harish, a depositor with Sri Gururaghavendra Cooperative Bank, told NDTV.

He added that for the past nine months many depositors have been surviving solely on the Rs 1 lakh they were allowed, which is very difficult during the ongoing pandemic.

Giving the example of YES Bank Mr Harish said, "YES Bank was revived within days, but our audit has not been done yet, no politician has even looking in our direction or helped us. We are not even being able to buy our diabetes and BP pills. We want access to our hard-earned money."

Another protestor VV Raghavan, representing PMC Bank depositors, said, "It is a shame on the RBI. When PM Modi and Mrs Sitharaman said YES Bank has to be revived, it was done in two days. The RBI must act and wipe our tears."

The government, which is meant to work for the people, has said nothing till now; it must do something for the people, Manjula, another depositor, said.

On July 6, former CEO of Sri Gururaghavendra Cooperative Bank MV Maiya was found dead by suspected suicide.