Collecting info on money laundering allegations: Urjit Patel

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Urjit Patel, Deputy Governor, RBI
Urjit Patel, Deputy Governor, RBI

The Reserve Bank is collecting information regarding the alleged acts of money laundering by the country’s three largest private sector banks, its Deputy Governor Urjit Patel said today.

The country’s three largest private banks were today accused of indulging in money laundering both within and outside with an online portal claiming that a sting operation conducted by it has revealed a scam.

“The RBI is in touch with the banks. At the moment, that is what I can say... We are collecting information,” Patel said on the sidelines of Exim Bank’s annual commencement day lecture here.

When asked if any of the three banks in question — ICICI Bank, Axis Bank or HDFC Bank — have been issued a show-cause notice in the aftermath of the expose, Patel said “No”.

The portal Cobrapost played the contents of purported video recording of officials of HDFC, ICICI and Axis 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 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, no account was opened nor any cash deposited in these banks.

All the three banks claimed they conduct their business in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements of the highest standards but said they will investigate the charges.

However, no account was opened nor any cash deposited in these banks.

Reacting to it, the Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Government will not jump to any conclusions in the matter, while the CBDT said it has taken cognisance of the sting operation and has begun a probe into it.

Stocks of the three banks were hit initially on bourses but recovered later on.

The BSE’s sectoral Bankex gained 2.08 per cent or 280.93 at the end of trade to close at 13,796.47 points as against the 1.07 per cent.

(This article was published on March 14, 2013)
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When govt is planning to bring in Prevention of Money laundering act on Jewellery, The lapse at the vital sector such as private banking, confirms us how loophole will be created for corrupts to thrive and loot.

from:  Senthil V
Posted on: Mar 15, 2013 at 15:38 IST
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