Cobrapost expose: RBI penalises Axis, HDFC, ICICI banks
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank on Monday imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on Axis Bank, Rs 4.5 crore on HDFC Bank and Rs 1 crore on ICICI Bank for violation of KYC norms and anti-money laundering guidelines after inquiring into charges levelled by a online portal Cobrapost.
"After considering the facts of each case ... Reserve Bank came to conclusion that some of the violations were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty..." the central bank said in a statement.
RBI imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Axis Bank, Rs 4.5 crore on HDFC Bank and Rs 1 crore on ICICI Bank.
The penalty follows scrutiny carried out by RBI of books of accounts, internal control, compliance systems and processes of these three banks at their corporate offices and some branches during March/April 2013.
The scrutiny was conducted to investigate into the allegations of contravention of Know Your Customer (KYC)/ anti-money laundering guidelines against them following expose by online portal Cobrapost.
Although the investigation did not reveal any prima facie evidence of money laundering, RBI said, "any conclusive inference in this regard can be drawn only by an end-to-end investigation of the transactions by tax and enforcement agencies."
RBI further said that a similar scrutiny was being conducted at corporate offices of 36 other banks and "the process of follow up action in respect of these banks is at different stages of its completion."