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Home / Industry / Banking /  Yes Bank withdrawal limit disrupts daily living, travel and investing

A senior employee of Yes Bank, who works out of a branch situated in a plush locality of South Mumbai, wasn't prepared for such a bad start to the weekend. Late evening on Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India decided to step in, placing the private sector lender under a moratorium and allowing customers withdraw not more than 50,000 from their Yes Bank accounts combied. Following the news, customers thronged the ATMs only to find the machines spitting out apologies instead of cash. "We are dealing with angry customers since morning, when our own fate hangs in the balance. We got our salaries recently and our accounts are in Yes Bank. While employees didn't leave the bank given the misfortunes but now we too are stuck when it comes to withdrawing money," said an employee.

A group of bewildered customers gathered at the bank's branch-cum-ATM located at its headquarters in Prabhadevi (Mumbai). Most wanted to withdraw cash but were unable to do so since the ATM had run of out of it. "Bring you cheque books for withdrawals," branch officials told customers, if they wanted to withdraw cash. Those who wanted to transfer money out through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) through the branch, were told to come back later. Employees shrugged their shoulders, helpless, at a problem that was not their doing and one they were themselves suffering from.

"I have just 55,000 in Yes Bank, but I had a much larger sum in PMC bank," said one unlucky customer, referring to the Mumbai-based co-operative bank that was placed under the RBI's prompt and corrective action (PCA) in September 2019. Another customer, a civil engineer in a private firm, anxiously clutched a flight ticket as he argued with bank officials. He needed money sitting in Yes Bank to book hotels, tours and other expenses for the holiday he had planned and booked flights for. At another branch in Worli, customers quietly and sullenly filled out cheques for the maximum permissible withdrawal.

In Delhi, the morning of 6 March started on a bad note for the bank's customers who had returned home tired of trying to withdraw money from their accounts. The queue outside the H-Block Connaught Place branch of the bank had dissipated by noon as most had lined soon after the announcement hit the ceiling the previous day. "There was a long queue till mid-night at the ATM for cash withdrawal. Soon after mid-night ATM stopped working or servers were down. ATM is still not working,"said a guard outside the bank. A few account holders,, who had joined the party late, had to return empty handed as the bank branch too had run out of cash. The bank employees blamed it on a server.

Amit Gupa, 34, who has a savings account with the bank came to the branch after trying out other outlets of the bank in Delhi, but had to face disappointment here too. “RBI should have managed such a problem properly. I have made investment in SBI Card IPO and if shares are not allotted to me, that money will also come back in my Yes Bank account, I am worried that, that amount will also get stuck," said Gupta.

Despite repeated reassurances from the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Minister, Yes Bank customers are not walking into the weekend with a happy mood. Most are now grappling with issues of upcoming EMI payments and running their households given they are almost locked out of their accounts.

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