The proposed merger of debt-ridden Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank with Unity Small Finance Bank (USFB) is being examined and the process of amalgamation will start after the government approval, sources said.
Various aspects of the scheme of amalgamation have been examined and the government would soon send its suggestions, if any, to the RBI, sources said.
The RBI in December extended the restrictions on Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank for another three months till the end of March, 2022 as all necessary process on the draft scheme for the takeover was not complete.
As per the Banking Regulation Act, the draft scheme of amalgamation is required to be placed before the government for its sanction and the Centre may sanction the scheme without any modifications or with such modifications as it may consider necessary.
The scheme as sanctioned by the government would come into force on such date as the they may specify, as per the Act.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had prepared a draft scheme of amalgamation and the same was placed in the public domain on November 22 as part of seeking suggestions and objections, if any, from members, depositors and other creditors of PMC Bank and Delhi-based USFB. The deadline for submitting the comments was till December 10.
In September 2019, the RBI had superseded the board of PMC Bank and placed it under regulatory restrictions, including putting a cap on withdrawals by its customers, after detection of certain financial irregularities, hiding and misreporting of loans given to real estate developer HDIL.
The restrictions have been extended several times since then. The directions were last extended in June this year and are in place till December 31.
The draft scheme of amalgamation envisages a takeover of the assets and liabilities of PMC Bank, including deposits, by USFB, thus giving a greater degree of protection for the depositors, the RBI had said in November last year.
It may be seen that USFB has been set up with capital of about Rs 1,100 crore as against regulatory requirement of Rs 200 crore for setting up of a small finance bank.
Further, the scheme notes that equity warrants of Rs 1,900 crore, to be exercised anytime within a total period of eight years, have been issued by USFB on November 1, 2021 to the promoters to bring further capital.
Under the scheme of arrangement, the depositors will get their full amount back over a period of 10 years. In the initial phase, the bank will pay amount insured under Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) of up to Rs 5 lakh to depositors.
It is to be noted that USFB, a joint venture between Centrum Group and Bharatpe, has commenced operations as a small finance bank with effect from November 1, 2021.