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Raghuram Rajan Now Says What ABS Said Two Years Back  -  Bank CMDs Openly Defy RBI Hints



Rajesh Goyal 


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At the outset, let me admit that this article is about self praise.  However, it will also show how Banks are being managed for self interest rather than national interests.   Today morning when I was scanning through newspapers, I was pleasantly surprised to read that Mr Raghuram Rajan said few things, which we have raised over two years ago.   Following are some of the headlines that appeared today:-


(a)   Economic Times : RBI hauls up banks for not following its policy actions 

(b)   Times of India    : Why no rate hike, RBI asks banks


The above reports clearly indicates that RBI Governor, Mr Raghuram Rajan has hauled up the top management (I mean CMDs), specially of Public Sector Banks and asked them as to why they have not raised interest rates despite the central bank hiking policy rates twice since September 2013.

Our readers are well aware that I have been exposing through the pages of this website as to how CMDs of PS  Banks have been defying RBI hints and guidelines for their vested interests.  On number of occasions, through my articles, I have put before our readers as to how banks compromised the interest of the investors and the nation.  The sale of gold, insurance policies through mis-selling have already dented the working of the banks and put irreparable damage to the nation’s fiscal status.


I am giving below a link of the articles written by me on  17/09/2011 (more than two years ago) under the heading :


  Even PS Banks Are Openly Defying RBI Signals to Control Inflation-Should RBI Not Intervene ?


I would like to quote from the above article written over two years ago :  “We view that such statements by Heads of PS Banks are utter defying of RBI Governor's signals and needs to be critically reviewed by RBI.   If majority of banks defy the regulators signals, then what will happen to the economy.  Inflation will not ease.   Banks needs to consider seriously the signals issued by RBI and take steps so that economy is on the track”.


I have also written in the same article :


“This is the right time when RBI must watch carefully, whether banks are listening to its signals or are just ignoring the same and wants to assert themselves as free from the watchful eye of the regulator.  If banks do not care for RBI, then the regulator needs to look for other options like de-regulating Saving Fund interest rates etc.


(As a follow up to above article RBI de-regulared SF interest rates wef 25th October, 2011, i.e. after our above article and give a big blow to PS Banks as now their CASA are not increasing mainly because some private banks are paying higher rate of interest)




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However, it appears, Mr Subbarao already under pressure from FM and GoI, failed to take any serious action against these heads of PS banks, as he did not want confrontation.  


Now Mr Raghuram Rajan with the backing of government is better placed and has publically confronted CMDs of Banks as to why they are not listening to his hints expressed through monetary policy.   It seems, CMDs have become too thick skinned and feel that they can defy anybody, except some political bosses (who watch their interests),  even if their policies are against the national interest


Sometimes I wonder as to why such financial wizards, who have reached the posts of CMDs, fail to take clue from RBI policies, whereas some people like me who could reach only AGM after over 30 years service, can easily pick up such hints.    I do not find any reason except that it is due to their protection of personal interests and apathy towards national interest.   It is on account of such attitude that now PS Banks are in such a mess : (a) Ever increasing NPA;  (b) High Level of  Restructured Accounts; (c) Poor growth in CASA; (d) low morale and unrest among bank employees; (e ) low salaries of bank employees etc.


The CMDs of banks have mis-used the freedom given to them in the name of autonomy and failed to live upto the standards they are required by the nation.  They have been twisting facts and data to present a rosy picture to their political bosses and toe their interests so that they have a smooth career till 60 years of age and get some other cosy job after retirement.


Although I do not agree with some of the policies followed by RBI Governor, yet I appreciate the boldness and frankness of Mr Raghuram Rajan on number of  issues.  I hope he will ensure that CMDs toe the line of RBI and participate in resolving the issues faced by India rather than aggravating the same through their defiance.  




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