RBI Cancels License of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank in Varanasi

Rachna Kumari
RBI Cancels License of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank
RBI Cancels License of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has canceled the license of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank in Varanasi due to deteriorating financial conditions. Depositors to receive up to Rs 5 lakh from DICGC.

The residents of Kashi, also known as Lord Shankar’s city, have been dealt a significant blow as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has canceled the license of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank in Varanasi. The central bank made this decision in light of the bank’s deteriorating financial condition, impacting many Banarasi Babus who relied on this local financial institution.

Bank Operations Cease from July 4

RBI announced that Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank will cease all banking operations after business hours on July 4, 2024. The cancellation of the bank’s license comes as a result of its worsening financial state, which has raised concerns about its ability to serve its depositors adequately. In its statement, RBI also urged the Cooperative Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh and the Registrar of Cooperative Societies to take immediate steps to close the bank and appoint a liquidator.

Depositors Entitled to Rs 5 Lakh Compensation

According to the RBI, data from Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank indicates that 99.98% of depositors will be able to recover their entire deposit amounts through the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC). Upon liquidation, each depositor will be entitled to receive up to Rs 5 lakh from DICGC, ensuring that most customers will not face a total loss of their savings. This safety net is a crucial relief for many depositors worried about the security of their funds.

Insufficient Capital and Prospects

The RBI highlighted that Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank lacks sufficient capital and earning prospects to continue its operations sustainably. The bank’s financial position is such that it would be unable to fully repay its depositors, which led to the decision to revoke its license. The central bank’s assessment found that the continuation of the bank’s operations would not be in the best interest of its depositors, prompting this decisive action.

Previous Payments Made by DICGC

RBI noted that DICGC had already disbursed Rs 4.25 crore out of the total insured deposits as per the wishes of the concerned depositors up to April 30, 2024. This proactive measure was taken under the provisions of the DICGC Act, providing some depositors with early relief ahead of the bank’s official liquidation process. This prior payment underscores the severity of the bank’s financial instability and the need for intervention to protect depositors.

Implications for the Local Community

The closure of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank is a significant event for the local community in Varanasi. As a cooperative bank, it played a vital role in serving the financial needs of many residents. The cancellation of its license by the RBI highlights the critical importance of maintaining robust financial health in banking institutions to safeguard the interests of depositors and the broader community. The RBI's intervention aims to ensure financial stability and protect the depositors from potential losses.

The RBI’s decision to cancel the license of Banaras Mercantile Cooperative Bank serves as a reminder of the stringent regulatory measures in place to monitor and ensure the financial health of banking institutions. While this action may cause short-term inconvenience, it ultimately aims to protect depositors and maintain trust in the financial system.