The Central Government, after considering the application made by the Reserve Bank under sec 45 sub-section (1) of Banking Regulation Act , may make an order of moratorium staying the commencement or continuance of all actions and proceedings against the company for a fixed period of time on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit and proper and may from time to time extend the period, so, however, that the total period of moratorium shall not exceed six months.
Again in exercise of the powers conferred under Sub-section (1) of Section 36 A C A of the Banking Regulation Act 1949, the Reserve Bank has, in consultation with Central Government, superseded the Board of Directors of The Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. for a period of 30 days owing to serious deterioration in the financial position of the bank. This has been done to protect the depositors’ interest. Shri T. N. Manoharan, former Non Executive Chairman of Canara Bank has been appointed as the Administrator under Sub-section (2) of Section 36 A C A of the Act.
The Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. placed under Moratorium
Date : Nov 17, 2020
1-The financial position of The Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd. (the bank) has undergone a steady decline with the bank incurring continuous losses over the last three years, eroding its net-worth.
2-In absence of any viable strategic plan, declining advances and mounting non-performing assets (NPAs), the losses are expected to continue. The bank has not been able to raise adequate capital to address issues around its negative net-worth and continuing losses.
3-Further, the bank is also experiencing continuous withdrawal of deposits and low levels of liquidity. It has also experienced serious governance issues and practices in the recent years which have led to deterioration in its performance. The bank was placed under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework in September 2019 considering the breach of PCA thresholds as on March 31, 2019.
4-The Reserve Bank had been continually engaging with the bank’s management to find ways to augment the capital funds to comply with the capital adequacy norms. The bank management had indicated to the Reserve Bank that it was in talks with certain investors. However, it failed to submit any concrete proposal to Reserve Bank and the bank’s efforts to enhance its capital through amalgamation of a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) with itself appears to have reached a dead end. As such, the bank- led efforts through market mechanisms have not fructified. As bank-led and market-led revival efforts are a preferred option over a regulatory resolution, the Reserve Bank had made all possible efforts to facilitate such a process and gave enough opportunities to the bank’s management to draw up a credible revival plan, or an amalgamation scheme, which did not materialise. In the meantime, the bank was facing regular outflow of liquidity.
5-After taking into consideration these developments, the Reserve Bank has come to the conclusion that in the absence of a credible revival plan, with a view to protect depositors’ interest and in the interest of financial and banking stability, there is no alternative but to apply to the Central Government for imposing a moratorium under section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Accordingly, after considering the Reserve Bank’s request, the Central Government has imposed moratorium for thirty days effective from today.
6-The Reserve Bank assures the depositors of the bank that their interest will be fully protected and there is no need to panic. In terms of the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, the Reserve Bank has drawn up a scheme for the bank’s amalgamation with another banking company. With the approval of the Central Government, the Reserve Bank will endeavour to put the Scheme in place well before the expiry of the moratorium and thereby ensure that the depositors are not put to undue hardship or inconvenience for a period of time longer than what is absolutely necessary.
The Reserve Bank has also issued certain directions to the bank under section 35 A of the Act ibid.
Chief General Manager
THE GAZETTE OF INDIA : EXTRAORDINARY [PART II—SEC. 3(ii)]
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
(Department of Financial Services)
New Delhi, the 17th November, 2020
S.O. 4127(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949), the Central Government, after considering an application made by the Reserve Bank of India under sub-section (1) of that section, hereby makes this Order of moratorium in respect of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited, Karur, Tamil Nadufor the period with effect from 18:00 hrs on the 17th day of November, 2020 up to and inclusive of 16th day of December, 2020 and hereby stays the commencement or continuance of all actions and proceedings against that banking company during the period of moratorium, subject to the condition that such stay shall not in any manner prejudice the exercise by the Central Government of its powers under clause (b) of sub-section (4) of section 35 of the said Act or the exercise by the Reserve Bank of India of its powers under section 38 of the said Act.
2- The Central Government hereby also directs that during the period of moratorium, the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (the said banking company) shall not, without the permission in writing of the Reserve Bank of India,—
(a) make, in the aggregate, payment to a depositor of a sum exceeding twenty-five thousand rupees lying to his credit, in any savings, current or any other deposit account, by whatever name called:
Provided that if a depositor maintains more than one account in the same capacity and in the same right, the total amount payable from all the accounts together shall not exceed the limit indicated above:
Provided further that wherever such depositor is having dues payable to the bank in any manner, either as a borrower or surety, the amount payable to such depositor shall be made after adjusting the relevant borrowal accounts;
(b) make, in the aggregate, payment to any creditor exceeding a sum of twenty-five thousand rupees if not otherwise provided in this order, so however that this shall not affect—
(i) making of payment of amounts towards any drafts or pay orders issued by the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited and remaining unpaid on the date on which the order of moratorium comes into force;
(ii) paying the proceeds of the bills received for collection on or before the 17th day of November, 2020;
(iii) making payment towards existing liabilities for call money or inter-bank borrowings including letters of credit, which are falling due during the period of moratorium; and
(iv) trades effected prior to the date of moratorium for which settlement is yet to take place;
(c) grant any loans or advances or make investments in any credit instruments.
3- Without prejudice to the conditions stipulated in sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph 2, in relation to payment to any depositor of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited, the Reserve Bank may by a general or special order, permit the said banking company to allow payment to its depositors an amount in excess of twenty-five thousand rupees to meet unforeseen expenses, as under:
(i) in connection with the medical treatment of the depositor or any person actually dependent on him;
(ii) towards the cost of higher education of the depositor or any person actually dependent on him for education in India or outside India;
(iii) to pay obligatory expenses in connection with marriage or other ceremonies of the depositor or his children or of any other person actually dependent upon him;
(iv) in connection with any other unavoidable emergency:
Provided that the amount so allowed to be paid out of the balance lying to the credit of the depositor—
(a) shall be reckoned towards the payment due to him under any scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation as may be sanctioned by any competent authority in relation to the said banking company and subject to such conditions as may be provided under such scheme about appropriation of any payment made to a depositor of the said banking company before or on the coming into force of the scheme; and
(b) shall not exceed the sum of five lakh rupees or the actual balance lying to the credit of the account of such depositor, whichever is less.
4- The Central Government hereby further directs that the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited may, during the period of the moratorium imposed on it, make the following further payments, namely, the amounts for repaying loans or advances granted against Government securities or other securities, to the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited by the Reserve Bank of India or the State Bank of India or by any other bank and remaining unpaid on the date on which this Order comes into force.
5- The Central Government hereby also directs that during the period of moratorium, the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited shall be permitted to operate its accounts with the Reserve Bank of India or with any other bank for the purpose of making the payments aforesaid, provided that nothing in this Order shall be deemed to require the Reserve Bank of India or any other bank aforesaid to satisfy itself that the conditions imposed by this Order are being observed before any amounts are released in favour of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited.
6- The Central Government hereby also directs that the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited may release or deliver goods or securities which have been pledged, hypothecated or mortgaged or otherwise charged to it against any loan, cash credit or overdraft:
(i) in any case in which full payment towards all the amounts due from the borrower or borrowers, as the case may be, has been received by it, unconditionally; and
(ii) in any other case, to such an extent as may be necessary or possible, without reducing the proportions of the margins on the said goods or securities below the stipulated proportions or the proportions which were maintained before this Order came into force, whichever may be higher.
[F. No. 7/114/2020-BOA.1]
AMIT AGRAWAL, Addl. Secy.