Money laundering: HDFC Bank hires Deloitte to conduct forensic audit

Money laundering: HDFC Bank hires Deloitte to conduct forensic audit New Delhi: HDFC Bank on Friday said it has appointed accounting and audit firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India to carry out an independent forensic enquiry into allegations of some of its officials facilitating money laundering activities.

The bank has also appointed Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co to examine the breaches, if any, of the bank's Code of Conduct & Ethical Standards, by any bank officials, HDFC Bank said in a statement.

"The bank is committed to the highest standards of compliance, corporate governance and ethics, and has in place systems and procedures to ensure that its business is conducted in compliance with laws and regulations," it said.

The statement further said internal departmental enquiry is underway to verify the truth or untruth or correctness, as the case may be, in the reported tapings of bank officials.

This process has been initiated without prejudice to the authentication of the video recordings or electronic data, it added.

Country's three largest private banks -- ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank -- were accused of indulging in money laundering both within and outside, with an online portal Cobrapost claiming that a sting operation conducted by it has revealed a money laundering scam.

Earlier this week, the portal Cobrapost had played the contents of a purported video recording of officials of private banks including HDFC Bank, allegedly agreeing to receive unverified sums of cash and put them in their investment schemes and benami accounts in violation of anti-money laundering laws.

The footage taken in 'Operation Red Spider', purportedly shows a number of senior executives of the three banks verbally agreeing to take huge amounts of cash from the undercover reporter and putting them into a variety of long-term investment plans so that the black money ultimately is converted into white.

However, neither any account was opened nor any cash deposited for the purpose in these banks.

PTI