The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fissure in Rabobank as promoter quits

Mumbai, April 28: Harkirat Singh, one of the promoters of the proposed Indian banking subsidiary of Rabobank, has decided to withdraw from the venture.

“Developments in the recent past have convinced me that there is no longer a complete alignment with this vision going forward. Further, Rabobank in consultation with the other two partners (in his absence) decided to appoint Ashok Kapur as the executive chairman and chief executive,” Singh said in a statement here today.

“This decision (about appointment) is a further evidence of a lack of mutuality of the objectives of the bank as envisioned by me. I have, therefore, decided to withdraw as a promoter of this new banking company,” he said.

This means fresh hiccups for the proposed bank, which is yet to take shape even 15 months after a licence was issued by the Reserve Bank.

On February 7, 2002, the Reserve bank (RBI) had given an ‘in principle’ approval to bankers Ashok Kapur, Harkirat Singh and Rana Kapoor to set up a new bank in the private sector under section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Singh, who joined Rabobank in London in 1999, was transferred to India in November last year as a CEO and managing director designate to implement the new banking project.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Singh said this “dramatic decision means giving up a dream laid more than six years back”. He added that he will discuss the entire issue with the RBI shortly.

When contacted, Rana Kapoor, said that while Singh had left for personal reasons, the move would in no way affect the rollout of the bank. He added that as per the RBI norms, it had time till August this year for the bank's rollout and plans in this direction were progressing as per schedule. “We are in every respect implementing the setting up of the bank,” he added. With the exit of one partner, Kapoor said that the two other partners along with Rabobank would achieve financial closure.

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