The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 24 September imposed restrictions on the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank capping the withdrawals at Rs 1,000 per account and disallowing the bank from making any fresh loans.
Soon after the news broke, there were massive protests outside the bank, with depositors raising concerns regarding the new limit. Following this, the central bank revised the limit to Rs 10,000.
In the midst of this, a video started doing the rounds on the internet with showed some people taking out their deposits from what looked like a backdoor entrance.
The claim along with the video reads, “It’s of Khar PMC Bank, This is how the chairman and directors are removing money, One of the promoters family removing all jewellery from PMC BANK, using backdoor (sic).”
It’s of Khar PMC Bank, This is how the chairman and directors are removing money, One of the promoters family removing all jewellery from PMC BANK, using backdoor. ?Posted by IFB News on Saturday, September 28, 2019
The video was also shared on WhatsApp with another claim which read, “PMC Bank employees allowing all punjabis to withdraw their amount from bank by making them enter in bank from back doors (sic)”.
The Quint received a version of this message on its helpline number.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
While the video is of PMC Bank, it doesn’t show promoters or directors of the company withdrawing money and jewellery from their lockers, neither does it show religious bias towards any community.
Speaking to The Quint, a source within the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) said that the video in circulation actually shows depositors of the bank withdrawing their items from their lockers. These depositors used the emergency exit (backdoor entry) to avoid the chaos at the front door after the RBI directive.
While many users on Facebook claimed that this was the Khar branch of the PMC bank, the EOW officer didn’t confirm the same.
IS IT LEGAL TO WITHDRAW FROM PMC LOCKERS?
The first directive by the central bank didn’t mention anything about the lockers and read:
"“The Reserve Bank of India (vide Directive dated September 23, 2019) has placed the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, under Directions. According to the Directions, depositors will be allowed to withdraw a sum not exceeding ₹ 1,000 (Rupees one thousand only) of the total balance in every savings bank account or current account or any other deposit account by whatever name called, subject to conditions stipulated in the RBI Directions.”" - RBI Notification
It further added that the “bank won’t be allowed to grant or renew any loans and advances, make any investment, incur any liability including borrowal of funds and acceptance of fresh deposits, disburse or agree to disburse any payment whether in discharge of its liabilities and obligations or otherwise, enter into any compromise or arrangement and sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of any of its properties or assets”.
However, an RBI official told The Quint that as it is a "custodial function", there are no restrictions on lockers.
The Quint has also reached out to one of the customers seen in the video. We will update the story as and when we receive a response.
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