Panic-Stricken Depositors Mill Around Bengaluru Cooperative Bank After RBI Caps Withdrawal Limit
Panic-stricken depositors milled around the Sri Guru Raghavendra Cooperative Bank in Bengaluru on Tuesday to withdraw their money, days after the Reserve Bank of India capped the withdrawal limit to Rs 35,000.
The depositors, mostly senior citizens, were concerned about their money deposited in the bank and worried as to how long it might take for the situation to get resolved.
Expressing disappointment about the bank's response to their concerns, many said they were attracted to put their money in the bank as it provided an additional 1 percent interest. Some depositors even tried to compare the situation with another Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank-like crisis.
Bank officials have maintained that depositors money was “100 percent” safe and are expected to hold a meeting with them on Jan. 19.
One such meeting that was supposed to be held on Monday could not take place.
Meanwhile, Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been apprised of the matter and was personally monitoring the issue.
"I want to assure all depositors of Sri Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank to not panic. Hon'ble Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman is appraised of matter & is personally monitoring the issue. She has assured Govt will protect interests of depositors. Grateful for her concern," he tweeted last night.
The MP's office in a statement has said that the finance minister has even spoken to the RBI Governor and officials on the matter and assured Surya that the government would do everything to protect the interests of the depositors and in the long-term interest of the bank.
The RBI had directed that from the close of business on Jan. 10 "a sum not exceeding Rs 35,000 of the total balance in every savings bank or current account or any other deposit account by whatever name called, may be allowed to be withdrawn by a depositor."
According to sources, RBI's restriction was because the bank had seen a default of Rs 350 crore on loans over the past three months.