The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) has launched an “Automated Search Portal” to help public sector banks (PSBs) with antecedent verification of prospective borrowers and non-performing assets (NPAs).

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The portal, which has been developed by the Bureau in collaboration with the State Bank of India (SBI), will help PSBs obtain mandatory intelligence clearance from CEIB in a prompt manner, which in turn will facilitate timely disbursement of funds, per Indian Banks’ Association’s statement. 

“This is a welcome move by C.E.I.B which is aimed at equipping banks with quick access to information for taking timely decisions,” the Association said.

As per the “Framework for timely detection, reporting, investigation etc. relating to large value bank frauds” (May 13, 2015 and November 6, 2019) issued by Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, PSBs seek report from the Bureau before sanction of loan exceeding ₹50 crore and above in case of new borrowers and if the existing borrower’s accounts turn NPA.

In August 2022, at the request of IBA, C.E.I.B devised a uniform format for seeking reports and also advised all PSBs to appoint nodal officers as a designated Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to communicate with banks, IBA said.

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“Banks, on their part, have since appointed nodal officers and the list of nodal officers has been shared by IBA with C.E.I.B. Further a dedicated email id was created at C.E.I.B to communicate with banks,” it added.

The Bureau is the nodal agency on economic intelligence. It was set up for coordinating and strengthening the economic intelligence and enforcement activities under the Ministry of Finance.