Call for RBI’s forensic audit on CSB credit decisions

THRISSUR: All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) has called upon the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to carry out a forensic audit on all credit decisions taken by the Catholic Syrian Bank (CSB) board leading to sharp rise in corporate lending in the past more than two years.

The largest trade union body of the bank officers in the country with 3.2 lakh registered members has also ‘called for the CSB managing director’s head’ in an official statement released today (Monday). AIBOC is keen to see the forensic audit done at the earliest in order to help unearth the skeletons in the CSB cupboard.

There were serious allegations that the bank had used the Mumbai base to expand the corporate book in haste even at the cost of unsustainable pricing and weak or no collaterals. The bank has been posting losses quarter after quarter for the past couple of years, but still escaping the PCA attention.

Catholic Syrian Bank is the first Bank in India’s banking history where 51 per cent ownership was permitted through FDI, and as a result, the Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa-owned Fairfax India Holdings Corporation acquired majority stake in the 98-year-old bank.

“The hope that the entry of Fairfax would pave the way for a high level of professionalism in the bank was belied as the first crucial HR decision taken by the board will result in substantial retrenchment of officers of the bank, dealing a serious blow on the employee morale,” said Soumya Datta (seen in the picture), the general secretary of AIBOC  while talking to

Condemning the board decision, AIBOC pointed out that the MD & CEO, HR Head and many other executives are well past the ‘Senior Citizens’ threshold age, and hence it sounds ironical that these people have put their heads together to reduce the retirement age to 58 for their colleague.

The statement alleged that the present MD & CEO has been provoking the officers’ community ever since he assumed charge, through a slew of anti-employee measures, which inter alia included terminating services of nearly 30 officers on the last working day of their service, irrational transfers to lady officers, to name a few.

As a prelude to the ill-reputed circular on the retirement age, the management, a few weeks ago, had come out with a ruthless move to compulsorily retire around 60 officers citing non-performance, whereas the performance appraisal mechanism had awarded good scores to many on this list.

AIBOC said it had included ‘restoration of good Industrial relations in Catholic Syrian Bank’ as one of the main demands at the nationwide strike on December 21, 2018.

AIBOC through its statement sought to remind Fairfax India Holdings Corporation that there has not been any turnarounds achieved anywhere in the world with authoritarian and dictatorial approach and hence would urge them to carry out a course correction, which can still effectively turn around Catholic Syrian Bank with the active involvement of all its employees.



  • Alfie Francis says:

    At some Point of time RBI intervention is a must on any Banks Management, nationalised or private sector if grounds of mismanagement by Top Management are brought to their Notice. But in India it was evidenced that RBI treated these mismanagement’s casually even with written complaints till recent times though RBI had their representations on Banks boards of many banks who enjoy all benefits of a board member and beyond.
    As a routine practice RBI just seeks explanations regarding allegations directly to the alleged parties (same Top Managements on whom allegations are raised) and RBI acts on their reply which will be no doubt will be safeguarding their interests. All such letters never resulted in any punishments, removal or penalizing, removal of alleged Board members and steps taken just remained an eyewash.
    If this was not true a bank like Catholic Syrian Bank with generations of Clientle Banking with same bank would never end up in a situation like this. If RBI’s Controller powers are properly used as a watchdog which is not sleeping Indian Banking System will Top the world.

  • Vakkappan says:

    Is Fairfax the ghost of East India Company?

  • Ram Mohan says:

    It is essentially required exercise to dispel the blanket acquisation of present management that all decisions were reckless and employees alone are responsible for all ills and filth of the bank: conversely management is immune from any accountability except awarding punishment are sole guardians of bank and stake holders.

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