RBI asks State govts not to move deposits out of private banks, says money is safe

In a letter written to Chief Secretaries of all States, the RBI said moving deposits out of private sector banks could have implications for banking and financial sector stability

March 12, 2020 05:06 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 06:51 am IST - New Delhi

The Reserve Bank of India seal on a gate outside the RBI headquarters in Mumbai. File

The Reserve Bank of India seal on a gate outside the RBI headquarters in Mumbai. File

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked State governments not to transfer their deposits out of private sector banks saying apprehensions about the safety of deposits in private lenders are highly misplaced.

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In a letter written to Chief Secretaries of all States, the central bank said moving deposits out of private sector banks could have implications for banking and financial sector stability.

The letter came after reports suggested that some State governments have advised government bodies and other entities under their jurisdiction to transfer their funds held with private sector banks to public sector lenders. This follows the crisis at Yes Bank where the RBI has superseded the bank’s board and placed restrictions on withdrawals.

“We strongly believe that such a move can have banking and financial sector stability implications,” the RBI wrote. “We feel that apprehension on the safety of deposits in private sector banks is highly misplaced and will not be in the interest of stability of the financial system in general and the banking system in particular.”

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It requested State governments to reconsider any decision they might have taken in this regard or are in the process of taking such decision.

“The Reserve Bank has adequate powers to regulate and supervise the private sector banks and by using these powers, it has ensured that the depositors’ money is entirely safe,” the letter said.

The RBI said the resolution of weak private sector banks in the past has been done in a manner that the depositors are not put to loss.

“It is precisely with a view to retaining depositors’ confidence in private sector banks and mitigating their hardship that, after the imposition of a moratorium on Yes Bank Ltd, the RBI has drawn up a draft scheme without any delay and we are making every effort to expedite the finalisation of the scheme,” it added.

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