Mumbai: The government has placed the United Western Bank Ltd under moratorium. The order of moratorium, issued in the interest of depositors and the banking system, follows an application by the Reserve Bank of India.
The moratorium will be effective from September 2 to December 1, 2006 or an earlier date, if alternate arrangements are put in place.
During this period, the Reserve Bank of India will consider various options, including amalgamation of United Western Bank Ltd with any other bank and finalise the plans in public interest and with a view to ensuring that the public deposits are protected.
The bank will be permitted to make only those payments that have been specified in the order of moratorium and the depositors of the bank will be permitted to withdraw, in total, up to Rs 10,000 (ten thousand rupees only) from their savings bank account or current account or any other deposit account through any of the branches of the bank.
For the present, customers of the bank will not be able to withdraw money through the ATMs of the bank /ATMs shared with other banks so as to give effect to the monetary ceiling prescribed in the moratorium.
The Satara-based United Western Bank has a network of 230 branches, 12 extension counters and 75 ATMs and its operations are mainly concentrated in Maharashatra. It is also listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
As of March 31, 2006, the bank's deposits stood at Rs 6,480.19 crore while advances were Rs 4006.27 crore. The bank incurred net losses of Rs 98.64 crore and Rs 106.48 crore during the years 2004-05 and 2005-06, respectively.
The bank had net non-performing assets (NPAs) of 5.66 per cent at the end of the previous financial year as compared to the peer group figure of 1.97 per cent. The bank's assessed capital to risk weighted asset ratio (CRAR) turned negative at -0.3 per cent as of June 30, 2006. This has jeopardised depositors' interest. The bank was also unable to come up with any credible plan to raise fresh capital to bring its CRAR to the prescribed level.
The Reserve Bank of India has set up help lines at Mumbai to assist the members of public. Customers may contact Reserve Bank of India for assistance.