Will speak to RBI Governor, Nirmala Sitharaman assures PMC bank depositors

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press briefing in Mumbai

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press briefing in Mumbai

Nirmala Sitharaman said she will speak to the RBI chief. She met a group of angry customers of the cooperative bank in Mumbai this afternoon just before addressing a press conference.

Shares of HDIL extended its losses on Wednesday as it fell almost 5 per cent and hit its lower circuit limit after reports that Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing may include the auditors of the bankrupt company in the ongoing probe of PMC Bank scam.

"I will once again talk to the Governor of Reserve Bank this evening to convey the distress of PMC clients", Ms Sitharaman. Sitharaman said that she had asked asked the secretaries of her ministry to 'study in detail as to what is happening.' "Representatives of RBI will also be there to understand shortcomings, what happened, & also to, therefore, if necessary, look at the ways in which the respective Acts will have to be amended", she added.

PMC Bank has allegedly enabled financial frauds amounting to Rs.6,500 crore by promoters of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL), putting thousands of depositors and their money at risk.

Enforcement Directorate filed a money-laundering case against the Wadhwan brothers and carried out raids at six places in Mumbai, including the HDIL office in Bandra (East) and the Wadhwan residence in Bandra (West).

More than two dozen co-operative banks are now under the RBI administration, but PMC Bank - with deposits of 116.2 billion rupees as of March 31 - is by far the largest.

On Wednesday, hundreds of depositors of the PMC Bank staged a protest outside the Esplanade magistrate's court, demanding stringent action against the culprits as the police custody of three accused in Rs 4,355 crore scam at the bank was extended till October 14.

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