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State-owned Andhra Bank today said it had classified Sterling group companies as non-performing in March 2015 and reported the matter to the RBI, and subsequently a case has also been lodged with the CBI. The bank said it was the lead bank of the consortium in case of two group companies of Sterling Group and the exposure to these companies is Rs 578.57 core (fund based) and Rs 568.35 crore (non-fund based) as on date and not as Rs 5,000 crore appeared in media reports. The bank was responding to a clarification sought by stock exchanges in a news article about loans to Sterling group. On report that the Enforcement Directorate has filed charges against a bank executive, the bank clarified that "Anup Prakash Garg was the chartered accountant director nominated by the government under Banking Acquisition and Transfer of Undertaking Act and held office from October 13, 2006 to October 12, 2009". "He was neither an employee nor a whole time director in the bank at any point of time," it said in a regulatory filing. Meanwhile, in a separate filing, Bangalore-headquartered Canara Bank said Abhijeet Group was declared a wilful defaulter on October 6, 2017. On the chronological order with relation to loan to Abhijeet Group, Canara Bank said it had extended working capital limits under consortium to Abhijeet Projects on June 13, 2011 and renewed it on December 4, 2012. "The account became NPA on September 30, 2013.
Fraud in the account reported to RBI on July 13, 2015 and criminal case was filed on August 21, 2015 before CBI. Recovery suit was filed before DRT, Bengaluru on September 14, 2015," it said in a BSE filing. Further, the Enforcement Directorate has sought details on February 26, 2018 about transactions details and the same has been furnished on February 27, 2018. Andhra Bank said its exposure to the Sterling group companies was classified as non-performing assets since March 2015 onwards based on the conduct of the account. "As on December 31, 2017, out fund based exposure to the group companies is to the tune of Rs 515.19 crore and stands classified as non-performing asset," it said. The lender said that during December 2017, it reported the group accounts as fraud to Reserve Bank amounting to Rs 515.19 corre alleging diversion of funds and money laundering on the part of the companies. "We have already lodged formal complaint with CBI against the companies," the bank said. Andhra Bank shares closed 6.88 per cent down at Rs 35.85 apiece on BSE while Canara Bank was up 1.42 per cent at Rs 238.55.
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