ATM :: Creditworthiness: Has PNB scam changed the dynamics of banking?

By Arshad Khan | Express News Service | Published: 04th March 2018 04:45 AM |


NEW DELHI: In the wake of Punjab National Bank scam and numerous other banking frauds detected in the days followed, it became clear that the process of granting loans to borrowers differs for different class of borrowers. While it becomes a nightmare of paper work for borrowers falling in the CBIL minus and CIBIL category, banks mends its ways for the people falling in the CIBIL plus category.

Banking experts say the approach of granting loan to everyone needs to be standardised. Ranjeet Mudholkar, vice-chairman and CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board India, said that banks need to make Cibil score of corporate bodies, mainly the listed ones, public, for the betterment of account and share holders. “Imagine a situation when you know in advance the credit score for Kingfisher, it will not only help rationalise the stock movement of the share holder but also bring a lot of stability in the system. The account holders will also know where their money is going,” Mudholkar said.

He adds that banks will have to become transparent in their working and there is a need to promote financial literacy among account holders. However, the two immediate requirements for a better banking system are far from international standards. In developed nations, accounts holders are much more aware as what is happening with their money, beside having easy available of CIBIL scores.

Another stark contrast is that many account holder in the India are not necessarily its share holder, hence they don’t see a need to know their bank’s working. Financial institutions, too, differentiate between an account holder and a share holder when it comes to revealing information. Even though, account holders are less likely to lose their deposit money in the whole scam episode, there is always a fear that there earning might get impacted, which, has an impact on every stake holder.

It was reported that post the illegal transfer of around $1.8 billion of taxpayers’ money from a single PNB branch in Mumbai, many account holders of the bank closed their fixed deposits in fear of the bank shutting down and they losing their money. A PNB clerk in a Delhi branch said the number of new account openings has seen sharp decline. Share price, too, continues to touch new lows.

But will things change in the way banks function. Mudholkar says that things are pretty much in place for middle class borrowers but for UHNIs, he hasn’t seen change in Bank’s approach yet. “Not taking ratings into consideration while granting loan to corporate bodies should stop and certain guidelines should be followed by banking official. In the absence of this, there will always be a crook who will try to take advantage of an outdated system,” he said.

When checked with a banking official whether they follow the standard norms while dealing while HNIs, she said sometimes they break limited norms while dealing with them as they are ‘valuable’ customers.

“A trust is built between them and bank. At the end of the day we do business and in most cases we know that the money is secured but problem comes in when there are wrong intentions,” she said.



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