Saturday, November 14, 2009

Banker's dream or dilemma?

How would you respond , if you are the Chairman or Branch Manager of a bank, when a person gives you a deposit of around Rs.1000 crore ? If you are like a typical banker, you would be too excited to say "no" or to exercise caution. This is not an imaginary situation. This recently happened in the case of Union Bank of India.
Associates / benamis of Madhu Koda, a former chief minister of Jharkand deposited Rs.991 crore in the Zaveri Bazar branch in the auspicious name of "Balaji Bullion Bazar". Of this amount, Rs.500 crore was deposited in cash. So the likelihood of the money being unaccounted was nearly 100% Why did the bank take this risk?
The branch manager would have thought that his further promotion in the bank must take lesser time because of this "achievement". The chairman would have hoped to cock a snook at competing banks and to leapfrog in the bank rankings by business figures. Both might have thought it was a godsend to become cock of the walk.
Of course, there are exceptions. There are bankers (and their number is growing for better or worse) who sense something amiss in every transaction. Madhu Kodas and their ilk have the knack to avoid them.

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