A notification purportedly issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is being shared online to falsely claim that the central bank has decided to revoke the licence of Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank on October 12 this year.
The false claims are being disseminated alongside an alleged screenshot of RBI's website and a news bulletin from Hindi mainstream news channel AajTak.
The notification, falsely attributed to the RBI spokesperson Yogesh Dayal, states, "Today, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), vide order dated October 12, 2023, has cancelled the licence of Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai. Consequently, the bank ceases to carry on banking business, with effect from the close of business on October 12, 2023. The Commissioner and Registrar of Cooperative, Mumbai has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank."
The fake circular also mentions that the Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank has not met requirements of various sections of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and that it lacks sufficient capital and future earning potential.
"The bank with its present financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full; and public interest would be adversely affected if the bank is allowed to carry on its banking business any further," reads an excerpt from the fake notification.
One such post on Facebook can be seen below.
Click here to view the post.
The notification is also being circulated on WhatsApp to amplify the false claim.
BOOM reached out to RBI spokesperson Yogesh Dayal to verify the circular.
Dayal confirmed to BOOM that the viral notification is fake and that RBI has not made any such decision to revoke the licence of Maharashtra based Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank.
"This is fake. No such decision has been taken by the RBI," Dayal told BOOM.
We also checked the Reserve Bank of India's official website but did not find any such notification that was issued on October 12, 2023, by the central bank.
We further noticed that the alleged screenshot of the official RBI website was morphed to show that the notification was issued on October 12 this year.
A comparison of the fake screenshot against a screenshot of the announcements made on Oct 10, 11 and 12 can be seen below.
BOOM also found that the news bulletin, which was supposedly aired on AajTak, has also been doctored to claim that Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank customers will be restricted to withdrawing no more than Rs 1000 from their accounts for a duration of six months.
The fake video contains a jump cut and the portion where the anchor originally talks about Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank has been cropped out. The footage included in the video has also been manipulated to show visuals of Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank.
The original news bulletin, broadcast on October 24, 2019, was about RBI's imposition of restrictions on the Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC). It can be seen below.
As per a report published by BQ Prime on October 25, 2019, "The restrictions were placed after the RBI invoked Section 35A and Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act. These sections allow the banking regulator to impose conditions on banks, including cooperative lenders, to protect the interest of the depositors."