The dust is yet to settle in the unfortunate collapse of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative Bank in Mumbai with 3 deaths, 2 suicides and a heart attack, making the headlines. With the government flatfooted in its reaction and their lack of anticipation of this crisis despite being the overlord of banking functions, the rot looks like worrying depositors of the HDFC Bank. HDFC Bank depositors are a worried lot now with a new viral message that showed a stamped message on a passbook that deposits above Rs 1 lakh are not guaranteed under the law. This message has spread panic. Many users took to Twitter to slam the Bank for the sudden fear. Depositors who have parked the money in the second-largest private bank have had a frightful day.
In its clarification, HDFC Bank said it had followed the RBI circular dated June 22, 2017. On that date, the RBI asked all scheduled commercial banks, small finance banks and payment banks to mention about the deposit insurance cover along with the limit of coverage upfront in the passbook of the account holder. As per law, the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), set up in 1978, is mandated to provide Rs 1 lakh per depositor cover for deposits in commercial banks, regional rural banks, local area banks (LABs) and cooperative banks. The DICGC is a fully owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961.
Here are what some users with their investments in HDFC Bank said on social media:
In the wake of the Punjab & Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC Bank) swindle, ICICI Bank-Videocon loan case and PNB scam, the deposit insurance stamp on HDFC Bank passbooks has scared the account holders. HDFC Bank account holders are living in constant fear of losing the hard-earned money that they have deposited in the bank.
Due to the alleged nexus between corrupt bank officers, dishonest businessmen and the protection provided them by their political masters, bank scams have become rampant in the country while the innocent account holder runs from pillar to post to get back their hard-earned money. And finally, due to the loopholes in the law, the accused get bail from the court of law on health grounds and roam freely in the country.
While the PNB scam tells how the high and mighty are able to evade the law, the ICICI Bank scam mentions about nepotism and a feeble banking system. Chanda Kochhar, the former chief of ICICI Bank, was caught in a swirl of nepotism and conflict of interest charges in the Rs 3,250 Videocon Group loan controversy.
HDIL promoters Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawan allegedly siphoned funds from the PMC Bank by using overdraft facilities while the bank officials reportedly mentioned them as loan accounts. As a result, thousands of PMC depositors are staring at a bleak future for no fault of theirs. They may be classified as defaulters by credit markets or bear the burden of the increased cost of borrowings as they are unable to pay loan instalments due to the RBI-imposed cap on withdrawals.
Speaking on the issue, HDFC Bank Corporate Communication head Neeraj Jha said the image pertains to information about the deposit insurance cover and the information was inserted as per RBI circular (Link: http://bit.ly/Circular-RBI) dated June 22, 2017, which requires all banks including Small Finance Banks and Payments Banks to incorporate information about ‘deposit insurance cover’ along with the limit of coverage upfront in the passbook. The passbooks without printed information were stamped with the requisite information so as to be fully compliant with extant RBI guidelines, Jha added.