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Scandal: YES Bank with NO Kapoor

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has bared its teeth again. Its axe fell on the captain of Yes Bank.

As a watchdog of Indian banking system, the RBI has asked Rana Kapoor, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD&CEO) of Yes Bank to step down effective 31 January 2019. The charge: wrong classification of loans leading to high NPA divergence in Yes Bank.

The investors have not cheered the news, and the bank’s share price crashed by 30 percent within a day of trading. While brokerage houses like Citi, IDFC Securities, Edelweiss, drastically reduced the target price of the scrip, the Yes Bank’s board was of the opinion that the bank will not experience any hindrances.
Earlier the RBI asked Shikha Sharma, CEO of Axis Bank, to step down in a comparable move. Such propositions indicate the no-nonsense approach of the RBI to eradicate the cancerous situation of bad loans.

Now, Yes Bank faces the challenging task of finding a suitable and credible successor to run the organisation. Among insiders, Rajat Monga, senior group president, Pralay Mondal, business heads retail banking, P Kumar, COO of the bank, are front-runners.

YES wasn’t built in a day

To make the condition more painful for Yes Bank, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) sought explanations on allegations of evergreening of corporate loans and increasing its share price ahead of fundraising actions. The bank refused the charges and said that it had not window-dressed loans. The bank argued that it is subjected to the annual risk-based supervision of the RBI, which is very wide-ranging. Also, the bank highlighted that it had followed all relevant guidelines and rules about disclosures of fundraising activities. The NSE also enquired whether there was any unacceptable lending to the conglomerates that are being run by Kapoor’s family. The bank countered saying it had no connections with the family businesses of Kapoor.

Big bank buildings of New York City powerfully influenced Kapoor when he was a summer trainee and living in the city in 1979. Kapoor’s dream of having such banks in India was born there and Yes Bank arrived in 2004. The bank was built around strong pillars of evolution, faith, human capital, technology, clarity and responsible banking. The bank has grown-up superbly and has preserved a steady net interest margin. Currently, it has a footprint of approximately 1100 branches and 1800 ATMs in 29 states and 7 union territories of India.

Since incorporation, the bank has received national and global appreciation and awards. As sound practices, processes, procedures and powers are vital ingredients of every bank’s design, Yes bank handled these parameters well and managed to keep its shape in good condition.

Within nine months of commencement of its innings, the bank decided to come out with an initial public offering (IPO) of 70 million shares at a price of Rs.45 per share and it got oversubscribed 30 times!

From the very inception, both professional entrepreneurs Rana Kapoor and his partner, the late Ashok Kapur wanted to institutionalise the bank and acquired 20 per cent share of Rabobank. Besides, the bank bought a stake in CVC Capital Partner, AIF Capital from Hong Kong and Chrys Capital at a minimal premium. The bank also took the major creative decision to subcontract its entire technology requirements to Wipro Infotech, an IT services organisation with presence in India and the Middle East. It has also associated with Nokia for the worldwide launch of mobile money transfer.

Overall, undoubtedly Yes Bank has a knowledge-driven culture.

Now, all eyes are watching as to who will be the successor of Rana Kapoor, the man who founded one of the premiere banks of India. Hope the new leader will strive hard to preserve the sanctity of tag line of the Yes bank ‘Experience our Expertise’ and helps Kapoor to relax at his favourite places Shimla or Italy along with his favourite book ‘A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future’ by Daniel Pink.

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