CHANDIGARH: Anxious customers of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) have been assured by the bank authorities that their deposits are safe and there is no reason to panic. This comes in the wake of the Rs 11, 300 crore PNB scam allegedly involving jeweller Nirav Modi.
Some of the customers were even contemplating withdrawing their money before the bank authorities took the initiative to pacify them. Convener, Punjab State Level Bankers Committee P S Chauhan, who is also the zonal manager of PNB, said there were no such withdrawals in the region since the customers realised there was no reason to panic. As per the bank’s advisory, the customers’ deposits were absolutely safe and they should not get swayed by unconfirmed reports.
Meanwhile, customers want the banks to put more safety features in place. “The banks urgently need anti-fraud mechanisms to counter trade-based laundering and transactions, a major area of concern in public sector banks. I may withdraw my fixed deposit after a word with my bank manager on Monday,” said Amarjit Dhillon, a retired engineer based in Patiala.
He added, “Some months back, the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, 2017, had created panic among customers of scheduled banks. Many of my friends withdrew their deposits from the banks with a kind of mass hysteria engulfing several places in the district.”
At the same time, some others have endorsed industry chamber Assocham’s suggestion that the government should surrender its majority control of banks which should be allowed to function like private sector lenders. “The demand for an overhaul of the banking system is growing after the massive Rs 11,300 crore ($1.8 billion) scam that has hit the state-run PNB,” said a manager with a private bank.