RBI doesn't have magic wand to help United Bank: Chakrabarty

Tags: News
RBI Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty today said the Reserve Bank does not have any "magic wand" to bring back United Bank of India on track and the troubled lender's employees have to work hard to tide over the ongoing crisis.

"We have no magic wand to bring the bank back on track. The bank people have to work hard," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

Chakrabarty further said the staff of the Kolkata-based lender, which has been facing a slew of problems after its gross NPAs crossed 11 per cent in the December quarter, have to focus on improving asset quality, reduce operating expenses and mobilise more business.

"We are only asking them to do good business," Chakrabarty said.

The RBI had on Tuesday appointed its chief general manager Parvathy V Sundaram, who is reportedly an expert on detecting frauds, on the UBI board. In the past, it also ordered special audits at the state-run bank.

United Bank posted a net loss of Rs 1,238 crore in the three months to December, during which its gross non-performing assets surged to Rs 8,546 crore from Rs 2,964 crore at the end of March last year.

The bank has recovered Rs 400 crore in cash and has upgraded Rs 800 crore worth of accounts since then.

Archana Bhargava quit as UBI Chairperson and Managing Director in February, opting for voluntary retirement on health grounds. Bhargava had taken charge as CMD in April 2013 and her term was to have ended in February 2015.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had earlier this month said the government was committed to deal with UBI's case.

"United Bank is a special case. We will deal with that. It's not an alarming case," he had said.

Speaking to reporters today, Chakrabarty said: "Once you declare NPAs, the basic lesson is very clear: don't hide NPAs, recover them."

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