The recent wave of termination of services of teaching and non-teaching staff in the state-run schools in West Bengal following subsequent orders of the Calcutta High Court has emerged as a major worry for bankers operating in the state.
A source said that in the case of a prior or fresh loan application by any teaching or non-teaching staff appointed since 2014 till date, the loan application scrutiny officers of the banks will have to check the lists of the terminated teaching and non-teaching staff uploaded in the website of the West Bengal School Service Commission.
“This has to be done to ensure whether the names of loan applicants are there on the lists or not,” the source said.
“Before sanctioning or disbursing any individual or retail loan like housing loans or vehicle loan or personal loan, the bank authorities scrutinise the repayment potentials of the loan applicant concerned.
“Almost all banks have given verbal instructions to their respective retail loan processing departments, in case of any such loan application from teaching or non- teaching staff in state-run who got their appointment from 2014 till date, the termination lists on the website of the commission should be cross checked,” said a banking representative at the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), West Bengal.
Confirming the development, an official from the retail loan department of State Bank of India (SBI), on the condition of anonymity, said that it is a normal practice adopted by any bank in such situations.
“When the Satyam scam surfaced in 2009, the employees of that company also faced similar troubles in getting fresh loans from banks or even shifting their existing loans from one bank to another for reducing EMI burdens. Many banks even reduced the limits on the credit cards of Satyam employees to the tune of around 80 per cent. The situation is similar in the case of teaching and non- teaching staff of state- run schools now, especially for those recruited after a point of time,” the SBI official said.
Now the bankers are worried about how to tackle the situation in the case of loans sanctioned and disbursed to any such teaching or non- teaching staff before his or service was terminated.
“There is a high possibility that many of these loans not having collateral security might ultimately turn into NPAs,” the SBI official said.
According to former national secretary of SBI Staff Association, Ashoke Mukherjee, it is unfortunate that the teaching or non- teaching staff of state-run schools, who were earlier considered as the safest borrowers by bankers, have to undergo these extra precautionary measures before their loans are sanctioned.
“But ultimately, the bankers are helpless,” he said.