Friday, July 10, 2015

Window Dressing Is Unstoppable

From time to time RBI and Government of India have asked and advised public sector banks to refrain from window dressing in deposits and advances. Still bank officials indulge in window dressing every quarter and this has been happening for decades. Window dressing is nothing but artificial inflating of business and reduction of stressed assets.
Bank officials inflate deposits in the last week of quarter or year and the same comes down in the first week of next quarter or year . Similarly they inflate figures of advances in the last week and get appreciation and awards from their bosses and from Ministers. This results in undue award to non performers and unjustified punishment to real performers.

Similarly on the front of bad assets and stressed assets, bankers hide bad assets by using the tools of rephrasing, restructuring and through evergreening of loan processes . Due to this timely action is not initiated against defaulters and during this time , defaulters disposes off the assets and then pray for compromise settlement or write off of the dues. In this way Recovery from defaulters is adversely affected.

Ultimately it is the government of India which has to suffer. It is taxpayers money which is infused in bank to protect them from falling due to mismanagement of bank officials or due to exploitation of banks by politicians. I add politicians because it is they who have been misusing banks for political advantages during each government in some way or the other. It is politicians who have damaged the banking their ill motivated advices and by suggesting writing off of loan for political gain.

Will you act against who have indulged in window dressing in the quarter ended June 15 despite your instruction not to do so in the same month?

It is important to say here that GOI can make real plan based on real figures only and similarly bank can recover bad money only if they take timely action.

Lastly I may add here that banking is a service industry and one cannot judge the performance of any individual based on figures. There are several Branch Heads or Bank heads who achieve the targeted figure somehow or the other but the customers of the branch and bank are not happy with the service extended .It may be these achievers who have added major portion of bad assets in their bank.

Here I would like to give an illustration TO substantiate my views. Suppose I am Branch Manager of a branch or Chief of a bank. I indulge in bribe based lending and achieve the advance well in advance. Then I use a little part of the ill earned money to buy deposits from government departments and public sector undertakings who have surplus funds and who can keep bulk deposits in my branch or in may bank, I can achieve and surpass even the target set for deposits. In this way I will be considered as good performer by my bosses, I will earn cash incentive and get quicker promotions. On the contrary those who have lagged behind the target or who have contributed lesser business by good means and by extending best services to customers may be rejected in cash incentives and in career.

But in the long run, advance made by me may become bad assets and cause huge loss to bank and force bank to arrange for larger capital. Customers may be dissatisfied with services extended from my branch because I focused on only few high value customers and neglected common men .Growth achieved may not be long lasting and stable. On the contrary , a person who did quality lending and who focused on retail business did the best for the health of the bank .His advances may remain standard healthy for years  and decades. Bank may earn consistent income from such quality lending . 

 Future of bank depends not on figures but on quality of service it extends. Good culture is more important than good figures a bank achieves. Respect and recognition of real good performers can only help in giving permanent growth and consistent profit to a  bank or a branch. Similarly wrong lending to achieve the target may give some temporary relief to political masters for temporary period but in the long run even persons like Devi Lal , V P Singh, Janardhan Pujari or Chidambram  who promoted Loan Mela or Loan waivers used for for vote gain  were rejected in election by voters. IN the same way bank officials who resort to evil means to achieve the target are trapped in corrupt dealing sooner or later or punished by almighty GOD in later part of life.

A Student who passed the examinations of his life by using unfair means may not necessarily get success in real life. A person may get job by using unfair means may be rejected by employer in short period. A bank may book inflated profit and book higher growth in business by using window dressing and by concealing stressed assets but sooner or the later the bank is exposed and subjected to hard medicine and surgical operation to survive or merged with some other bank . Unfair means in any sphere of life has bad outcome . There is no substitute to truth and real growth .

Stressed assets or Non Performing Assets in Banks are like tumour in body of a person. If  the Doctor considers it as insignificant in early stage or do not diagnose it , it my grow and if the same is not removed by medicine or by surgical operation in initial stage it may turn into cancerous disease and cause huge loss leading to ultimate death of the patient. Similarly a person in intoxication of wine acts like lion and start driving his car in high speed and without control. If the power attained by wine is  considered as good it may result in fatal accident. In the same way growth attained by window dressing is unreal power and unreal growth and result in accident in future.

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