A group of distressed PMC depositors gathered outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office here on Wednesday, seeking an assurance that their deposits in the scam-hit corporative bank are safe and will be returned to them within a stipulated time.
On Tuesday, the RBI increased the withdrawal limit from the bank's customers to Rs 50,000 but this has done little to assuage the concerns of the distressed depositors. Most of the 20-odd depositors who have gathered at the RBI headquarters here are from Tilak Nagar in west Delhi, where the bank has a branch.
Taranjit Singh (33) said at least a representative from the RBI should assure them that the deposited amount will be returned in a given time frame. Singh, who is in a private job, has Rs 10 lakh deposited in the scam-hit bank. "The RBI should conduct a press conference and assure us that our money is safe," he said.
Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank), which is among the top 10 urban cooperative banks, was placed under an RBI administrator on September 23 for six months due to massive under-reporting of dud loans. The crisis began after an alleged ?4,355-crore scam came to light and the RBI capped withdrawals at Rs 1,000 per customer from September 24. Subsequently, it raised the withdrawal limits to Rs 50,000 in multiple moves.
Sixty-five-year-old Manjit Singh is among the PMC customer who has gathered at the RBI office. He said he has fixed deposit amounting to lakhs in the bank and his livelihood depends on the interest earned from this deposit.
"If this is the way the bank deals with its customers, people will lose faith in the banking system," he said.
Tajinder Singh, a senior citizen, said he has been a customer of the bank for the past five years and has deposits of Rs 1.4 crore. Tajinder said he had deposited Rs 40 lakh on September 23, just a day before the cap on withdrawal kicked in. "None of the bank representatives cautioned me of the impending crisis," he said.
Harmeet Singh (28), a salesman by profession, said he had taken a loan to buy a house and deposited Rs 15 lakh in the bank just two months ago. "I am facing difficulties in withdrawing cash," he said, adding that the PMC should be merged with some healthy bank.