Market regulator Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 25 crore on Yes Bank for allegedly mis-selling its AT-1 bonds. The private lender said that it will move the Securities Appellate Tribunal against the SEBI's order.
"The Bank shall be preferring an appeal before the Hon'ble Securities Appellate Tribunal," the lender said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
According to the SEBI order, Yes Bank Limited (YBL) and certain officials devised the "devious scheme to dump the AT-1 (Additional Tier-1) bonds on their hapless customers."
In order to make institutional investors subscribe to more capital of YBL, the noticees devised the plan to down sell the AT-1 bonds, held by the institutional investors, to individual investors, including their customers. In this regard, they highlighted the AT-1 bonds as earning high interest vis-a-vis the Fixed Deposits (FDs), Sebi said.
As per the bank's filing, Additional Tier 1 (AT-1) bonds were issued in three tranches in 2013, 2016 and 2017.
However, as part of reconstruction of the bank in March 2020 under Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the bank had written down two tranches -- AT-1 bonds issued in 2016 and 2017.
"The matter pertaining to written down of AT-1 Bonds is sub-judice before various High Court(s) and a Transfer Petition is pending before the Supreme Court of India," it said. However, in the meantime, SEBI had issued a show cause notice alleging mis-selling of AT-1 bonds, it added.
AT-1 bonds are considered perpetual in nature, similar to equity shares as per the Basel III guidelines. They form part of the tier-I capital of banks.
With PTI Inputs