Yesterday morning,I saw this huge advertisement by ICICI Bank clarifying its position visa vis the news paper report which had appeared in a financial daily on Sunday ( 13th September,2009).
We have been doing rounds of banks for getting a housing loan & to tell the truth,we are fed up of the clarifications ,the banks need from us for loan disbursement.Our credit rating has taken the banks 2-3 months to finalise & they are still on the job of evaluating the project,which we are interested in & this after more than 2 months of submitting the papers to them from the builder or rather the redeveloper.I am certain that the builder sorry, the redeveloper is no less a crook but, then, at least, an answer is yet to come from the bank.Our patience is being tested to the limit.
ICICI Bank like others had erred in disbursing loans right ,left & centre during the boom & so, are over cautious, like all banks in lending now, during recession.But does this help ? It is like ragging- the freshers are ragged because seniors were ragged by elder students earlier.It has no logic but the repercussions are there for all to see.So, in this case or rather such cases, wherein, banks are going overboard by not lending money for housing is just not helping in checking fraud.Maybe, it is just giving a complacent feeling to the banks that by refusing to give money,they are safe.It is like closing the stable door after the horses have bolted.Moreover ICICI saysbthat one crore is too minisicule an amount -this is so very true ! How we all have progressed ! Unless the crores are in three digits oops, sorry, four to five digits ,nobody is bothered & so why would ICICI bank, as it is said to be the largest bank in the private sector in our country.Moreover,if people have to remember any financial irregularity, which may turn out to be a scam,it had better be huge lest, people tend to overlook ? After all,public memory will continue to recall gigantic frauds & not dwarf ones !
But, if all the small scams are added up,the result will be a scam which will give all the huge scams a run for all the money involved.This is not to say that we only be bothered about the small frauds & leave the big ones -what I am trying to tell is that there has to evolve mechanisms & procedures which will nip such things in the bud.But nothing of this sort happens-we continue to witness one mess after another -we forget the earlier ones because, we already have a bigger one at the horizon, waiting ,before we can recover from the effects of the earlier one.
Moreover,huge scams make it so convenient for more & more people to share the loot & surely,the shares of the loot will be big too.Maybe, what has been reported is only the tip of the iceberg.Perhaps, more banks have been party to such acts.Let us only hope, that this is not true.
In this case,ICICI Bank seems to have omitted in its duty of verifying the credentials of the persons involved & hence, there is reason enough for suspicion that all is not well.Omission & commission are both equally culpable in law.
Today, the financial daily has issued a clarification about the news report it had published on 13th September,2009.But then, you have to read between the lines- the clarification report is just a quarter of the size of the published news report.Moreover,the news report was on the front page - it was almost as good as a headline.The daily's clarification is on the front page but down & on a side which a reader may easily skip.