The most prominent member of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), the United Bank of India (UBI), had earlier warned the West Bengal government of the inevitable financial fraud that was waiting to happen, much before the Saradha scam broke. However, the government chose not to pay any heed to the advice and now the bank is not willing to give any further suggestions on the issue.
The newly appointed chairperson and managing director (CMD) of eastern India’s largest nationalised bank, Archana Bhargava, made this clear, while on a visit to Kolkata on Thursday.
“Our bank from the SLBC forum had earlier warned the state government on this issue. Our deposits were also going down due to this menace, however now we do not see the need to give any such advice any further,” said Bhargava.
The SLBC meeting with the WB state government was held in September 2012, and state finance minister Amit Mitra had attended it. However, no action was taken against these companies, alleged the opposition parties.
Asked if there should be more stringent know your customer (KYC) norms implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Sanjay Arya, executive director, UBI said, such companies cannot be prevented from using the banks. He said, “The current RBI norms are strong enough, but none of these measures can check these companies. All these chit funds have their KYC documents in place, it is not an issue with them.”