Thursday, October 11, 2012

Governance in Banks

It is only to be expected that no public sector bank can refuse to give loans to Robert Vadra. (Someone said the letter 't' in Robert is silent.)

Corporation Bank had given an overdraft of Rs.7.94 crore to Sonia Gandhi's prodigal son-in-law in 2007-08 when his company had total resources of only Rs.1 lac. When questioned about this obviously questionable transaction, the present Chairman of the bank, Ajai Kumar has spilled the beans observing "You have to take the full picture"!

B.Sambamurthy was the CMD of the bank when this loan was extended. He claims he has no recollection of this overdraft. This means either he is lying (could the bank have been so munificent without CMD's knowledge?) or there were many other more outrageous transactions eclipsing this 'paltry' sum of Rs.7.94 crore. We can understand Sambamurthy's plight. But is such dereliction of duty expected of bank's CMDs who are supposed to protect bank's interests and not the interest of Vadras?

Update on 12th Oct.: Corporation Bank has denied having sanctioned any such overdraft. I am happy to stand corrected.

Update on 13th Oct.: It now emerges that Vadra's company's Balance Sheet discloses liability to Corporation Bank, but the bank has denied having sanctioned any such loan. This means that the money belongs to somebody else, a case of benami transaction facilitating perhaps money-laundering. If such a chicanery were committed by anyone else, the IT authorities will not keep quiet.

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