Brokerage firm asks Reserve Bank of India to be transparent after the Yes Bank-Rana Kapoor instance

Mumbai: There is a need for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to be more transparent on decisions like curtailing the term of Yes Bank’s managing director and chief executive Rana Kapoor, a foreign brokerage said on Friday. This comes two days after the private sector lender reported that the RBI had not find any divergence or under reporting of non-performing assets for fiscal year 2017-18.

“..the question of why the RBI ordered Kapoor to go remains unanswered. We believe it is time for the RBI to increase transparency on decisions that have a significant impact on minority shareholders,” Jefferies, the brokerage, said in a note. The brokerage pointed out that the Yes Bank stock, which gained since the zero divergence news, had lost 30 per cent following the RBI curtailing the term of Kapoor in September last year.

It can be noted that the terms of both Kapoor as well as Shikha Sharma, the head of its larger rival Axis Bank, were curtailed by the regulator. At the time of announcing these decision, the regulator failed to communicate the reason for these actions. Both the banks were found to have under reported their stock of NPAs by a cumulative Rs 10,000 crore each for two consecutive fiscal years by the RBI, leading to a wide speculation if this was the reason for the removal.

The brokerage said it thought the refusal to allow the reappointment of Kapoor by the RBI was taken by it as a “black swan” event. “However, with the RBI’s audit report now citing ‘nil’ NPA divergence, we seem to have mistaken a mere crow for a swan,” it said. It added a divergence number higher than last year’s would have been a worry, but the latest disclosure of zero divergence has come as a “shock”. According to earlier reports, sources had said the RBI had cited “serious lapses” in governance and a “poor compliance culture” at Yes Bank as reasons for its “regulatory discomfort” in allowing Kapoor to continue to head the lender.

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