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DHFL crisis: Savings of over 1 lakh fixed deposit holders at risk as trouble mounts for debt-laden mortgage firm

FP Staff

Even as the government is expected to order an SFIO probe into alleged financial irregularities at DHFL after reports of alleged fund diversion, the account holders who have fixed deposits in the debt-ridden mortgage firm are reportedly at risk of losing their savings, said a media report.

The fixed deposits of about one lakh account holders of Dewan Housing Finance Corp Ltd (DHFL) are reportedly at stake as allegations of fraud and fund diversion continue to haunt the debt-laden firm, said a report in Mint.

Cases of fund diversions, as revealed in a forensic audit by accounting firm KPMG, may scuttle the resolution plan for DHFL that has been in the works for several months, the report said.

On 29 October, it was reported that the government would soon order a probe by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) into alleged financial irregularities at DHFL after a report by the Registrar of Companies indicated fund diversion, said a PTI report.

The Mumbai office of the Registrar of Companies (RoC) earlier this year had initiated a detailed examination into alleged financial irregularities, including fund diversion, by DHFL promoters.

The RoC Mumbai submitted its report on DHFL to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) a couple of days ago, an official said.

There is a good enough reason to refer the matter of DHFL to Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), the official said, adding the report indicates diversion and siphoning of funds.

The matter will be referred to the agency under the MCA in the next few days, the official added.

DHFL came in the eye of storm after a report suggested that the company through layers of shell companies allegedly siphoned off Rs 31,000 crore out of total bank loans of Rs 97,000 crore.

On 21 May this year, DHFL had announced that it had stopped accepting fresh inflows in fixed deposits (FDs), reported Moneycontrol.

The company also stopped renewals and put premature withdrawals from existing fixed deposits on hold, the report said.

On 23 October, a forensic audit reportedly found massive fund diversion by the promoters and thus are averse to lend any additional money to the crippled company.

The third-largest mortgage lender had sought a Rs 15,000-crore lifeline from the lenders as they finalise the resolution plan, which may also include picking up 51 percent equity in the company by converting their debt into equity.

KPMG, which has carried out the forensic audit has submitted a draft report to the lenders, which has reportedly found that the DHFL promoters had diverted nearly Rs 20,000 crore of bank loans to its related entities.

The beleaguered home financier owes Rs 83,873 crore as of 6 July, 2019 to banks, the National Housing Board, mutual funds and bondholders, including retail bondholders. As of 6 July, its secured debt was Rs 74,054 crore and the unsecured debt stood at Rs 9,818 crore.

DHFL has been facing liquidity issues since last September and yet has paid back Rs 41,000 crore of its financial obligations through a combination of securitisation of assets and repayment collections since.

€" With inputs from agencies

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