Banking

Rupee bank account holders demand immediate payout

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A group of people claiming to represent the account and shareholders of Rupee Cooperative Bank has asked the bank administrator to take immediate steps to ensure the account holders get the maximum pay-out. Dhananjay Khanzode, a member of the group, told the media on Saturday that an ouster of the present board of administrators has also been called for inefficient handling of the bank.

For the last nine years, the Rupee Cooperative Bank, which is headquartered in Pune, has been under strict banking restrictions in view of mounting debt. The then board of directors was dismissed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the bank has since been managed by a board of administrators. Account holders are allowed to withdraw a limited amount from their accounts only in case of emergencies like medical treatment, marriages etc. The board of administrators has been trying to either merge the bank or revive the same. However, these efforts have met with no success, as the RBI has not given its green signal for either.

Khanzode, who, along with other account holders has moved the Bombay High Court, opposed the proposal of merging the Rupee bank with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank. This, he claimed, would result in financial losses to the account holders. Khanzode had earlier started a crowd funding campaign to meet the court expenses. He claimed the proposal for reviving of the bank was non-tenable, given the financial losses it was reporting. Also, the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, did not have the technical bandwidth to absorb the Rupee bank and run it professionally, he added.

Khanzode told the media that the present board of administrators “have not run the bank professionally”, and alleged corruption in auctioning the property of chronic defaulters. “We are demanding that the bank makes maximum payment with 7 per cent interest since 2013 to the account holders immediately. Given the pandemic, the financial state of the account holders is precarious and they need relief,” he said.

Meanwhile, the board of administrators denied Khanzode’s allegations. In a press statement issued by Sudhir Pandit, the chairman of the board of administrators, the bank termed the allegations of corruption and mismanagement as completely baseless and false.“We had earlier issued a notice for criminal defamation and now after consulting with our lawyers, we will be taking suitable steps,” the release read. Pandit and others appealed to the depositors “not to fall prey to what they said was false propaganda run by few”.

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