State Bank of India Chairperson Rajnish Kumar on Saturday said the lender was examining the draft scheme for reconstruction of the crisis-hit Yes Bank and would get back to the Reserve Bank of India on the matter by Monday, the Hindustan Times reported. The board of SBI has already given an in-principle approval to explore the possibility of buying a 49% stake in Yes Bank.
“We have received draft scheme of reconstruction for Yes Bank,” Kumar told reporters, according to PTI. “Our investment and legal team is doing due diligence.”
He said that after the government’s rescue plan for Yes Bank, several investors had approached SBI and restoring the bank’s health was a priority. He assured SBI shareholders that their interests would not be compromised. Kumar added that the SBI would need to invest Rs 2,450 crore if it has to buy 49% stake, Reuters reported.
Kumar said Yes Bank could soon resume normal operations. “The failure of a bank has huge consequences for the economy,” Kumar said. “SBI has size and credibility. We have [a] role to play.”
On Friday, the RBI had announced a draft scheme for reconstruction of cash-strapped Yes Bank, a day after imposing a moratorium on the lender with a withdrawal limit of Rs 50,000 for its account holders till April 3. The central bank also took over its board with immediate effect.
The RBI had said it took the decision due to the “absence of a credible revival plan, and in public interest and the interest of the bank’s depositors”. The central bank said the strategic investor bank would have to buy 49% stake and must keep it to at least 26% for three years.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the government had been aware of the crisis at Yes Bank since 2017, and had been routinely monitoring the bank’s activities. Sitharaman said the RBI had taken measures to contain the crisis and protect the interests of account holders. Both Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had assured depositors that their money is safe.