RBI report finds discrepancies in banking operations
New Delhi: The Reserve Bank has unearthed various discrepancies, including non-compliance of KYC norms and fictitious PAN, in its probe following the Cobrapost expose that alleged money laundering by banks.
"There were definitely violations of KYC norms by banks," said a senior finance ministry official when asked whether RBI has found breaking of regulatory norms in its report.
RBI had launched the investigation into the working of banks following the expose which showed some bankers giving suggestions to customers on ways to bypass regulatory norms.
The first expose had named ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank. Later 23 public and private sector banks and insurance companies figured in the expose relating to money laundering.
While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)refused to comment on the details of its report, market is abuzz with talks of violations of guidelines by banks.
According to a report by a brokerage firm IIFL, "...RBI's forensic study into Cobrapost's money laundering allegations has unearthed fictitious permanent account numbers, unknown non-resident ordinary accounts and rampant non-compliance of know your customer norms."
Last week, RBI Governor D Subbarao had said the central bank had completed its investigations into the issue and would take action if banks were found guilty of violating prudential banking norms.
"We have done investigations, we have prepared an internal report. There are processes to be followed to take investigations to its logical closure...
"The first is action against individual institutions who are involved in practises which are not consistent with the banking regulation and prudential banking", he had said.
RBI had already taken systemic action to deal with the problem and many of them were announced in the annual policy document unveiled last week.
As far as individual banks are concerned, Subbarao had said: "We got to follow procedure" before deciding on imposing penalty on them for violating the prudential banking norms.