It is time for the banking sector in India to re-introduce ethics in banking, election commissioner and former Union finance secretary Ashok Lavasa has said. The difficulties being faced by the banking sector have increased and the magnitude of the problem has become very large, so everyone is trying to resolve it but they are not talking of restoring ethics in banking, said Lavasa. “We are blaming regulators, supervisors but we are not talking about questionable personal behaviour. Ethical conduct is necessary for regulations to succeed. No amount of technological or process improvement will help if the banking system is not anchored to clean, ethical minds,” Lavasa said. It is not anybody’s case that the banking sector is losing relevance, instead its role will become more important as development funding will continue to come from the banks, he said.
Lavasa was speaking at the 49th Foundation Day of the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) in Pune on Monday. He urged NIBM to include banking ethics in their course. Lavasa pointed out that NPAs are in-built in the way banking is done and finding a resolution to NPAs is intrinsic to banking activity. Not all NPAs are intentional, as assessments go wrong because markets change and projects go awry, he said.