Money & Banking

Public sector banks now open to hiring fraud investigation agencies, says Kroll India MD

NS Vageesh Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2018

Reshmi Khurana, MD, Kroll Associates India

The firm helps provide evidence to nail recalcitrant borrowers

Public sector banks are looking to hire fraud investigation agencies to look into their loan books, with a view to arrest rising non-performing assets.

Reshmi Khurana, Managing Director, Kroll Associates India (Pvt) Ltd., a leading company engaged in providing fraud investigation and risk consulting services, said earlier there were more private and foreign bank clients for such services. Now, public sector banks have also started becoming proactive in this respect and are beginning to hold discussions on the subject. This is a good sign, she said, and expected it to translate into business soon.

The focus of their work for bank clients is to find out if fraud happened, and, if so, where the money lent by the bank went, she said.

They provide the corroborative evidence to nail recalcitrant borrowers and this helps the banks decide the next course of action — whether to begin negotiations or choose legal action.

Reshmi said Kroll’s business in India had been growing 30 per cent year-on-year during the last few years, but declined to specify actual numbers since it is a private company. Kroll has been in operation in India for two decades and has 20 consultants on its rolls.

Poised for growth

The company also has an alliance with BMR Advisors. The fraud investigations industry is poised to grow given the rising number of scandals in the corporate world, she said, and expects the company’s business to double in three years. Asked about competition from the Big Five accounting firms who offer similar services (forensic audits and fraud investigations), Reshmi said that while competition is stiff, clients come to them to get ground-level intelligence, specialist services, and to avoid conflict of interest in the same firm doing all activities.

She said business is also growing as companies (both domestic and foreign) want to do due diligence before signing up joint ventures and alliances.

A large number of Japanese companies had used Kroll’s services in the last two years as global interest in India has picked up.

Improved adherence to rules and meeting global standards will help attract more foreign capital, she added.

Published on July 22, 2015

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