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File photo of RBI governor Shaktikanta Das (ANI Photo)
File photo of RBI governor Shaktikanta Das (ANI Photo)

Yes, governor, let’s keep depositors’ money safe

  • RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the interests of bank depositors should take precedence over those of others. This will reassure millions of savers worried about the safety of their money after a string of bank scandals.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das wants banks in India to care more for depositors than borrowers. It’s their money, after all, that is being handed out to do business. “Depositors run into crores in numbers, whereas borrowers could be in lakhs. There are small depositors, middle class depositors, there are retired people who depend on bank deposits. So, the interests of depositors have to be protected," he said at an event on Wednesday. Das also held financial stability as a top priority, and said that the central bank was ready to do more for economic growth.

His comments seem to indicate where RBI stands on the issue of granting an interest waiver to borrowers who availed of its covid moratorium. By one recent estimate, banks could lose 2 trillion should such relief be given. This would stretch the finances of banks, which are already under the strain of bad loans. It doesn’t help that bank scandals over the past few years have shaken people’s faith in the safety of their money, even as the news is mostly about either relief for debtors or the provision of more loans. It’s also well known that the government is short of funds to recapitalize banks.

Das has spoken up for bank customers, and that’s good. It would be even better if they could look forward to remunerative rates of interest on deposits. For this, inflation needs to be quelled.

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