PMC bank scam: Ex-MD Joy Thomas blames RBI for needless curbs

Mumbai: In a bid to exonerate the board of directors of all blame, PMC Bank’s former managing director (MD), Joy Thomas, has put the entire blame at the door-step of the Reserve Bank, for imposing needless restrictions.

“None of our officers has committed a fraud. Whatever happened is technical and we could have resolved it in a decent manner had the RBI not been so harsh on us,” said Thomas, on Friday, at a press conference.

The former MD, who was inaccessible immediately after the RBI barred the PMC bank from carrying out routine transactions for six months, hosted the press conference without any prior notice.

Thomas claimed he had approached a few senior officials of the RBI to resolve the matter, to which he claims, the RBI responded by freezing the bank operations.

He further alleged that the RBI has sacked the board of directors of the PMC bank. Thomas has also ceased to be the MD – a development that has taken place after the RBI made its forceful intervention.

“We could have easily resolved the matter on our own, were we given some time. The RBI showed haste and in fact inconvenienced the depositors,” he added.

"Instead of understanding the problems of the depositors, the RBI seems to be more interested in imposing its writ."

The bank officials had admitted that the real estate company HDIL had defaulted on a loan of Rs 2,500 crores. Thomas disclosed that for nearly seven years, the transactions between the bank and the company were hush-hush and not recorded in the books. He, however, refused to divulge more details.

Despite the non-payment of loans, on August 31, the PMC directors had approved a fresh loan of Rs 96 crores to HDIL.

“Giving this loan to HDIL, was a calculated move, which we did to stall the real estate company from slipping into bankruptcy,” argued Thomas. He further claimed, PMC is not in a precarious condition as the value of the fixed assets is 2.5 times the amount of loan given by the bank to HDIL.

“The RBI auditors couldn’t find anything amiss after the thorough scrutiny,” pointed out Thomas. Thomas also claimed the central bank may further extend the cash withdrawal cap to Rs 1,00,000 from Rs 10,000 now.

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