DEMONETISATION, the Chanda Kochchar controversy, absconding Vijay Mallya and the impact of the Nirav Modi case has slowly started percolating down the line in the banking industry. The lending scenario in the banks is the lowest in a decade. Given rising bad loans and NPAs, the public sector banks are now being extra careful which is resulting in low credit offtake. The Reserve Bank of India and the Department of Banking may present a rosy picture of the industry but the ground level scenario is dismal. Bank Chairmen and Managing Directors of most PSU banks are scared and not pushing the lending business. Normally, the Zonal Managers and Bank Managers are the nodal officers for the offtake of the lending business and are constantly under pressure to meet lending targets. In the current scenario, the smart managers have evolved a new modus operandi. Whenever any businessmen or company approaches them for loan or bank guarantee, they technically start processing the papers but tacitly delay the process. In the meantime the details are reportedly passed on to private banks. The private bank approaches the loanseeker and offers them quick sanction without any hassles of submitting innumerable documents–for a price. The ‘booty’ collected is shared by officials of the private bank and the public sector bank.