Yes Bank is in the process of carrying out an enquiry into a whistleblower’s allegations of irregularities in operations, potential conflicts of interest concerning a former chief and incorrect classification of non-performing assets (NPAs), the private bank said on Wednesday.
The bank became aware of an anonymous whistleblower complaint in September 2018, through communications from stock exchanges.
The private lender’s management then conducted an internal enquiry of these allegations under the supervision by the bank’s board of directors. The enquiry resulted in a report that was reviewed by the board in November 2018. Based on further inputs and deliberations in December 2018, the private lender’s audit committee engaged an external firm to independently examine the matter.
“The bank, at the direction of the audit committee and with the assistance of this external firm, is continuing to analyse the allegations in the whistleblower complaint,” the lender said in its notes to accounts for the June 2019 quarter.
It added: “Based on work done and findings till date, the bank has not identified any material financial statement implications. The bank will consider the implications of ongoing work once the examination of this matter is completed.”
Earlier this year, Yes Bank appointed Ravneet Gill as its managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) denied Rana Kapoor a fresh three-year term. Lapses in compliance with asset classification norms are widely believed to be the reason behind the central bank’s decision.
In a call with analysts on Wednesday, the Yes Bank management responded to queries on the extent of Kapoor’s involvement in the bank. “So, the clear answer to that is other than the fact that he is the largest shareholder of the bank, he has no involvement, executive or non-executive, direct or indirect,” Gill said.
At its 15th annual general meeting (AGM) on June 12, the bank’s management is understood to have sidestepped shareholder queries with respect to former bank chief Rana Kapoor’s reported bid to reenter the bank through the board.
On June 11, rating firm Moody’s put Yes Bank ‘under review for a downgrade’, citing ongoing liquidity pressures in Indian finance companies and real estate firms that will negatively impact the credit profile of the bank, given its sizeable exposure to weaker companies in these sectors.
Shares of Yes Bank ended at Rs 98.45 on the BSE on Wednesday, 5.25% lower than their previous close. The bank’s June quarter results were released after the close of trade.