The unexpected write down of some bonds issued by crisis-hit Indian lender Yes Bank Ltd. as part of a state-led rescue is set to raise borrowing costs and make capital-raising tougher for other banks, investors, analysts say. The takeover of Yes Bank by Indian bank’s biggest lender, State Bank of India last week comes against the backdrop of a string of scandals in the country’s financial sector in the last couple of years from a $2 billion fraud at a large state-owned bank to mismanagement of funds at shadow banks. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that it would work on a revival plan as part of which bonds classified as Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital will be written down ‘permanently, in full.’ Yes Bank had about 88 billion rupees ($1.2 billion) in AT1 capital as of March 2019, its annual report showed, under the Basel III framework. Investors included Nippon India Mutual Fund, Franklin Templeton, a slew of local fund houses and retail investors.
An independent director of Yes Bank Ltd and Cost Accountant, Mr Uttam Prakash Agarwal who stepped down as head of the bank’s audit committee citing major corporate governance concerns, but the lender said that he was facing a ‘fit and proper’ status review as directed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Gill had to be reminded repeatedly for sharing information on the capital-raising plans and the term sheets he eventually shared lacked essential details alleges Agarwal. It seeks the regulator to investigate gains made by investors due to sharing of false developments. Gill could not be reached for a comment immediately.
When AV asked, Agarwal said, “The investors need not worry about their investments, they will get their full money back. It’s the failure of governance and total involvement of current management. YES Bank’s MD and CEO Mr Ravneet Gill and his team could not manage the show. Unnecessarily the Kapoors are under attack but Gill is solely responsible for the mismanagement. Its game of manipulations, these guys just finished everything.”
Agarwal has also demanded appropriate action against the lender’s CEO and MD Gill for allegedly violating various regulatory norms. Agarwal, who was an independent director in 2018, resigned from the board of Yes Bank last month citing deteriorating standard of corporate governance at the private sector lender end. In a letter to the Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das, Agarwal alleged a breach of governance, non-compliance, undue influence and control on the majority members of the board by Gill through quid pro quo. The letter also alleged that there has been substantial erosion in the market capitalisation of about Rs 40,000 crore since Gill took over as the managing director.