Duraiswami - Banking; In-House Counsel; Credit & Recovery - Chennai, TN, India

Narayanaswami Duraiswami

Chennai, TN, India


I am an M.Com., LL.B., C.A.I.I.B. with over 41 yrs. banking experience. Major chunk of my career was in legal domain. I had worked at different centres, in various grades/ranks and at different levels, viz., at Corporate Office for about 10 yrs. and the rest--16 yrs-- at Zonal/Regional Offices. I had played a pivotal role in revision/up-gradation of Bank's Credit Documentation Manual. That apart, as head of Asset Recovery Branch, posted an aggregate recovery of stressed assets to the tune of Rs. 108/ Cr.in -4- years.

Prior to joining the legal department, I had good exposure to Credit as well as general banking operations (15 years)

Besides, as Head-BIFR Cell, New Delhi, enhanced substantially the revenue/earnings by means of OA/MA fee during the last -2- years of my posting over there. I superannuated in Aug'13 and am awaiting Bar Council enrolment for practice. Meanwhile, I am looking for working as an Associate of a law firm of repute, Even working as 'In-house Counsel' suits me. My preferred place of work is Chennai which is my first choice and Mumbai happens to be my choice no.2


Banking; In-House Counsel; Credit & Recovery


well-versed with basic banking operations with knowledge and experience in branch banking, credit processing, sanctions,disbursement, post-disbursement follow-up/monitoring; professional knowledge and skill in credit documentation; legal expertise--litigation, opinion and documentation--and credit recovery; headed a specialised branch of a premier PSB (India's International Bank) with great success for 04 years; recovered NPA from even the hardest of hard-core defaulters through various actions under the SARFAESI Act, 2002, litigation under RDDBFI Act 1993 and compromises under RBI Scheme and Bank's own Recovery Policy.(Rs. 108/ Cr.in aggregate)
now specialising in Rehabilitation of Sick Industries referred to Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), appeals related thereto filed before the Appellate Authority for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (AAIFR) and various High Courts in India.

Work History


Asset Recovery Management

June 2007 - May 2011

increased profitability, improved holding assets quality leading to reduction of capital adequacy requirement and strengthening of the top line through recovery in Non-performing Asset (NPA) and the bottom line through recovery in Prudential Write-Off (PWO - also known as technical write-off) accounts.

• By leading a multi-pronged attack on NPAs, effected substantial recovery through - litigation via Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs) under the RDDBFI Act, 1993
- measures under the SARFAESI Act 2002
- CDR mechanism
- negotiated settlements (Compromise)/Out-of-Court settlements as per Bank's policy and - One Time Settlement (OTS) Schemes of RBI/Bank in force from time to time.
• Exercising Authority/Powers under SARFAESI Act by taking possession, mostly of collaterals, carrying out its sale and appropriating the sale proceeds towards the bank's dues as per Bank's guidelines and norms.
• Issuing circulars on suit-filing, execution of Recovery Certificates (RCs)/decrees and realization of secured/charged assets, chiefly collaterals, through litigation and/or SARFAESI action.
• Identifying accounts for conversion of NPA into PWO category (as per norms)
• Liaising effectively with Professionals such as Lawyers, Architects/Valuers, Chartered Accountants and Enforcement /Recovery Agents for litigation/recovery.
• Maintaining good Liaison with the Officials of DRTs, DRAT, BIFR, AAIFR and the Official Liquidators attached to the High Courts concerned.
• Negotiating with the borrowers / guarantors for amicable compromise settlements so as to maximize the yield and, at the same time, minimize the sacrifice for the Bank.
• Monitoring compliance of legal formalities at all stages of cases, including due diligence for withdrawal/ sine die.
• Initiating action in accordance with the Securitisation & Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002.
• Pursuing litigation vigorously for quick resolution of stressed...

Assistant General Manager

A.R.M. Branch

June 2007 - May 2011

Chief Manager, Legal, Central

Corporate Office

May 2002 - May 2007

Chief Manager (Legal) Zonal Office (South)

April 2002 - May 2002

Senior Manager, Legal

Zonal Office

as already covered elsewhere.

Senior Manager, Legal

Central Office

I had worked at Corporate legal for about 10 years the detailed job role whereof is already given elsewhere. Yet what should be underscored is need for greater care and co-ordination with various departments of corporate office as well as Head office (@ Baroda) while handling the legal issues referred by the top management. Pro-active care, advice and Guidance should be forthcoming out of volition, wherever required, in Bank's interests. Macro level expectations, including the time-lines, ought to be met without fail. Image of the Organisation needs to be preserved, protected and enhanced, i.e, in such a manner legal affairs should be conducted. Emphasis is more on policy matters, new products and services, corporate governance, compliance with laws, rules and regulations, new projects such as CBS &, I-banking. .Impact of various enactments--new and existing--and judgments and Orders of higher Judiciary on the Bank and banking in general had to be studied and percolated down the line with appropriate guidelines/instructions (in sync with bank's policies) e.g. I studied the RDDB Act, 1993 (even at Ordinance stage ) SARFAESI Act, 2002, RTI Act, 2005, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, FEMA, etc., and issued guidelines for due and proper implementation thereof at all levels( in letter and spirit). For SARFAESI , for instance, I devised a STEP- BY- STEP approach and conducted seminars (made power point presentations all he country as the Team Leader. Similarly, for documentation and decree-execution too we issued guidelines from time to time. High power committee issues involving inter se disputes between any two PSUs/PSBs/ Govt. Depts. were also handled. Guidance for handling effectively COPRA, Banking Ombudsman, etc. matters of common interest/uniform practices all over the country were issued. ZOs/ROs. were, in particular, concerned more with local laws, rules and regulations whereas at macro level, All-India matters needed to be handled and/or guided from

Senior Manager, Legal

Zonal Office

I had worked chiefly in legal Department--as In-charge/Head of the department. I had also worked in Inspection & Audit Credit and , House Keeping & Personal Banking Departments in Zonal/Regional Offices when I was a Generalist. (i.e., pre-Sep'87)

Manager, Legal

Central Office

At Corporate Legal (Bombay) all legal issues pertaining to the allocated Zones--normally 3 or 4 in number--had to be attended by each Law Officer which role I performed as Law Officer--Grade Scale -I to GS III. As Chief Manager/Sr. Manager (Legal) I used to guide the Juniors/Freshers & groom them for shouldering higher responsibilities. Legal references from various Depts in Corporate Office & Head Office were also dealt with by me. Basically, the role encompassed documentation, litigation (thru Lawyers) and legal opinion (KRAs) Issuance of circulars--guidelines--on legal issues, important judgments impacting Bankers and up-dating Bank's legal Manual also constituted part of my job from time to time. In short, an In-house Counsel--some times as a team member and as the Leader/Prime at others.

Manager, Legal

Regional Office

(a) Pre-Sep'87--as a Credit Officer attached to the Credit Dept. of the R.O. and as an Officer looking after Inspection, Audit and (Credit) Recovery Dept. of the R.O.
(b) Post-Sep'87--as the Law Officer In-charge/Head of the Dept. advising and guiding the branches with a span of control of 40 to 50 branches in each Region. Advocate Management--consisting of empanelment, entrustment of briefs, inter-action and removal, etc.-- was also a part of the job role. The basic legal work pertained mostly to Credit--sanction, disbursal and recovery.

Law Officer

Regional Office

Apart from what has been stated already, preparation and submission of various legal returns/statements to higher authorities, answering starred/un-starred questions of Parliament by data-collection from branches, follow-up /Monitoring of suits/decrees (the present DRT cases ) rendering legal opinion on various issues arising from operations, guiding branches on legal documentation --were the key responsibilities. Ensuring' (1) TOTAL APPLIED LEGAL CARE' and (2) 'ZERO' legal cost (for legal opinion) of the territory/Region were my self-set goals which I always achieved. Customer care & Guidance (legal) was ensured as a priority within the framework and keeping mutual interest of the Bank and the Customer in mind at all times.

Credit Officer

Mylapore Br

I had worked for a little over -4- years at Mylapore branch of which for about a year in Deposits, Staff, Safe Deposit Lockers, Safe Custody & Current Account Department/s .and in Credit Dept. for nearly -3- years wherein the key responsibilities included credit appraisal, documentation for security- creation, disbursement, Review, follow-up and recovery, viz, the total/all functions of Credit Department those days. Bank Guarantees & Letters of Credit, the non-funded facilities with good potential for the all-important fee income were also a part of my functions. It was, so to say, an over-all--not truncated/specialised as it is today--Credit Dept. headed by me.


Zonal/Regional Office

While the basic job role remained the same at both the levels, the key difference was in having to interact with a number of branches (40 plus) of the Region,( when at R.O) whereas the contact points were limited just to 4 or 5 (ROs) when at ZO. But wherever It was, the customer focus was never lost sight of. Bank's interests remained the first and foremost (paramount) while the Customer needs had also to be cared for without compromising on the legal front but at the same time evolving a via media solution .A 'Win Win' situation for both had to be worked out. Again, it was yet another self-imposed role of mine.

Assistant General Manager (BIFR) New Delhi


From April 1972

June 2011 onwards


Retail Banking

As part of my role, 'Retail Banking' was always there. Look at depositors and borrowers most of whom were retail customers. Whether I was a Banking (Operations) Officer or a Credit officer or a Law officer, I had to deal mostly with retail customers. Those days, we used to have (and call them as such) consumer loans, priority sector advances to small borrowers,, Small Business loans, educational loans, personal loans, Loan against Bank's own deposits, Housing Loans & Vehicle loans (including loans to staff members of ZO/RO)--all these constituting the erstwhile 'retail' portfolio whereas credit to 'Commercial & Institutional' (C&I) segment was outside the purview of 'retail' and the erstwhile C&I is 'wholesale banking of today. Likewise, the erstwhile Small Scale Industry (SSI) sector is the current MSME segment. While appraisal techniques differ from sector to sector, the basic functions remain, by and large, the same, It was the time when a single credit officer at the branch used to handle the entire credit portfolio (solo) and handle it much more professionally and with greater care. 'Meticulousness' used to be a synonym for credit officer. .

Qualifications & Certifications




Impact Academy Gurgaon


College at Ahmedabad


Bank of Baroda Staff College

CAIIB-Indian Institute of Bankers

Rajasthan University

Sri Venkateshwara University

Delhi University

IPR Institute Gurgaon

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