Kolkata, May 1, 2017

The position of non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks will worsen if the names of corporate wilful defaulters are not published immediately, leaders of bank officers’ union said on Monday.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been steadfastly refusing to divulge the names of top corporate wilful defaulters. In the days to come, the position of NPAs will worsen if the names of wilful defaulters are not published immediately and treated as criminal offenders,” All India Bank Officers Confederation’s (AIBOC) West Bengal unit Secretary Sanjay Das told the media here.

He said, “The government and the RBI failed to bring in any stringent act or regulation to deal with wilful large corporate borrowers which account for more than 60 per cent of public sector banks’ NPAs.” The bank union leaders said the Reserve Bank of In ia Governor said Indian banking system could be better off if some public sector banks are consolidated to have fewer and healthier entities.

Opposing the attempt of merging “weak banks”, union leader Soumya Dutta said, “Every state unit of AIBOC will meet Chief Minister of respective states to oppose any move to merge public sector units.” Condemning RBI Governor Urjit Patel for his comment on consolidation of some public sector banks, Das said: “The RBI cannot shirk off its responsibility of the huge NPAs as all the banks’ boards have RBI nominees as director.”

“We do not understand how it is possible. He (Patel) opined the public sector banks to raise private capital from the markets and not rely on the government for that. He has not asked the government to compensate the PSU banks for the opportunity cost of ‘Jan Dhan’ exercise and for the entire period of demonetisation which adversely affected the bottomline of the banks,” Das said.

Taking a swipe at Patel for his public comment on weak banks, the union leaders said a weak bank reveals a weaker regulator. They said public sector banks are making “operating profit” but due to stringent provision norms prescribed by the RBI, against big ticket corporate loans, the net profit has come down.

[The Financial Express]