IDBI Bank-diamantaire group issue: RBI probe sought

Mumbai: In a significant development, the All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) has demanded a probe by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) into the IDBI Bank Ltd’s recent disclosure of a diamantaire group’s loan default.

AIBOA General Secretary S. Nagarajan has said that bank officers are “seriously disturbed” over the public notices issued by the IDBI Bank Ltd vis-a-vis the wilful defaulter diamantaire, Sanghavi Exports International Pvt Ltd, its group companies, factories, office, besides promoters/directors/guarantors.

In a letter to the RBI Governor, it has been pointed out how the IDBI Bank Ltd’s first public notice (dated December 19) mentioned a huge amount of over Rs 6,700 crore, plus a foreign currency (USD) loan equivalent to around Rs 1.20 crore.

Earlier, the Bank of India, as the leader of a consortium, had taken over possession of the diamantaire’s property for failure to repay loans worth Rs 468 crore in 2018, said Nagarajan, on the issue that was first highlighted by IANS (December 20-21).

“The wilful defaulter should not be a repeat action of the infamous Nirav Modi of Punjab National Bank. It is also intriguing that in 2018 itself, there was a recovery step made by another public sector bank, so how come the IDBI Bank was unaware of the developments,” Nagarajan asked.

The senior banking professional pointed out that later, IDBI Bank informed the BSE and NSE that there are inaccuracies and that the loan account is fully provided with the NPA of only Rs 16.72 crore.

However, sources in the IDBI Bank insist that the goof-up in the public notice (December 19) was a genuine error, though a contrary impression of a ‘scam’ was created in the public after the regulatory filing (December 20) and the fresh public notice (December 21), but remedial measures are being initiated.

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