PMC fraud case: Bank staff were assured of salary being paid

Updated: Oct 06, 2019, 07:50 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Even as recently hired graduates ask to leave bank, existing 1,800 employees to get paid for September by next week

Joy Thomas, suspended MD of PMC Bank, produced before a court on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Joy Thomas, suspended MD of PMC Bank, produced before a court on Saturday. Pic/PTI

It might just be a good Diwali for staff of the crisis-hit PMC Bank. The 1,800-odd employees have been assured that they will receive their salaries for September by early next week. The decision was taken following a meeting between the employees union and an RBI arbitrator, two days ago.

A majority of the employees have availed personal, housing and vehicle loans from the PMC bank itself, and were worried about defaulting on their EMI, due to uncertainty over the fate of the bank, post RBI restrictions. "We were taken aback with the sudden turn of events. It was a regular working day and suddenly, we learnt that the RBI had slapped a notice [under Sections 35 (A) and 56 of Banking Regulation Act, 1949]. We have been as anxious as are our customers, but are reporting to work daily," said a staffer, who did not wish to be identified.

Confirming the development, Madhav Gadade, an employee of PMC and secretary of Cooperative Bank Employees Union, said, "In the last 30 years, employees have worked very hard to gain public confidence and have brought the bank to a strong position. Even now, employees are hopeful that with the RBI's support, they will be able to bring the bank in same position within a year. The union is in touch with the RBI-appointed administrator, who has assured salary clearance for the employees in the coming week."

When contacted, LM Kamble, general manager, PMC Bank said the salary will be paid to the employees. He, however, didn't comment on 50 fresh graduates, who had joined various branches of PMC bank, being asked to quit their service two days ago. "It was not viable to pay them their remuneration in the present situation," a staffer said.

While RBI has given fresh directives, increasing withdrawal limits from Rs 1,000 to Rs 25,000 for six months, an average of 500 account holders continue to visit the branches daily for withdrawal. "A single account holder is entitled for a single withdrawal of Rs 25,000 for the next six months. In case the account holder does not have sufficient balance and intends to prematurely close the existing fixed deposit, the entire fixed deposit amount will be transferred to the saving account. Even here, the withdrawal cap is Rs 25,000," a PMC employee explained.

Madhav GadadeMadhav Gadade, union secretary PMC

As an exception, account holders seeking emergency cash for medical reasons, education or marriage, can visit a PMC branch and submit a form. The bank in turn will seek approval from the RBI and accordingly obtain special clearance of anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

A senior official said, "We are cooperating with the investigating agencies and the RBI appointed administrator."

EOW acts against ex-chairman, MD

A local court sent Joy Thomas, the suspended MD of PMC Bank, to police custody till October 17 on Saturday. Thomas was arrested on Friday after the EOW registered a case against senior officials of HDIL and PMC Bank. EOW also arrested former Chairman Wariyam Singh, 68, on Saturday after being tipped that he was at Mahim Church. During preliminary investigations, Singh has accepted his role in the wrongdoings.

Hold on

In a meeting held on Saturday at Guru Nanak School, Sion Koliwada, Sikh Community members appealed to Sikh institutions, corporates and large depositors not to withdraw their deposits for the next two to three years to ensure revival of the bank. Raja Singh Johar, trustee, Guru Nanak Vidyak Society, said, "As on September 23, Gurunanak School had a fixed deposit of over Rs 5,26 crores and funds of Rs 10.88 crores with PMC bank."

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