Scam-hit Bank Of Maharashtra shuts 51 branches to cut costs

Pune (Maharashtra), Oct 3 : The scam-hit public sector bank, Bank Of Maharashtra (BoM), on Wednesday announced the closure of 51 branches across the country as part of cost-cutting measures, an official said.

The BoM had hit headlines after Maharashtra police had nabbed its Chairman-cum-Managing Director Ravindra Marathe and five others for the alleged Rs 2,043-crore scam involving the prominent realtor, DSK Group of Pune.

From October 1, the 51 branches – all in urban centres across India which have been identified for the cost-cutting action – were closed and declared non-viable and incurring huge losses, said the official of the Pune-headquartered bank.

Declining to be identified, a senior bank official said that these 51 units have been closed down and merged with neighbouring branches.

This is the first such a measure initiated by any PSB in Maharashtra. The BoM has around 1,900 branches all over India.

In a brief announcement on Monday, BoM said it has closed down and merged these 51 branches for public convenience.

The branches shut are in: Thane (7), Mumbai (6), Pune (5), Jaipur (4), Nashik and Bengaluru (3 each), Amravati, Latur, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Satara, Hyderabad and Chennai (2 each), NOIDA, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Raipur, Goa, Solapur, Kolhapur (1 each).

The IFSC Code and MICR codes of these branches have also been cancelled and all the existing savings, current and other bank accounts of the customers have been transferred to the branches with which they have been merged.

Customers have been directed to deposit their cheque-books issued from the closed branches with the old IFSC/MICR Codes by November 30, and collect their payment instruments bearing the new branch’s IFCS/MICR codes.

The BoM cautioned that since the old IFSC/MICR Codes have been spiked and shall be discontinued permanently from December 31, the customers, henceforth, should conduct all their banking transactions only with the new IFSC/MICR Codes.

Earlier on June 29, barely nine days after the arrests of the BoM top brass, the management had relieved CMD Marathe and the Executive Director R.K. Gupta, of all their functional responsibilities.

The management action came after Marathe, Gupta, the BoM’s MD and CEO Sushil Muhnot and three others were nabbed in the alleged scam, which created a political furore.

Earlier in May, the Pune Police had filed a 36,875-page long chargesheet in the case, pertaining to the mega-scam perpetrated by the Pune-based DSK Group and its owner D.S. Kulkarni and his family members.

The police said that DSK Group and the Kulkarni family had allegedly defaulted on loans availed from various banks including the BoM and had defaulted on paying back thousands of depositors who had invested in their schemes and fixed deposits.
(IANS)

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