India’s private sector banks – HDFC, ICICI and Axis Bank – are under a scanner. A sting operation carried out by investigative website Cobrapost alleges that these banks and their managements systematically and deliberately violate several provisions of the Income Tax Act, foreign exchange and central bank regulations, know your customer norms, the Banking Act and Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA) with utter disregard to consequences, driven by their desire to boost deposits and thereby increase profits. The banks claim that their compliance standards are stringent and have consequently decided to launch an investigation into the matter. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India gave a clean chit to the Banks saying no money was laundered.
HERE IS WHAT THE BANKS HAVE TO SAY:
“We would like to assure our customers and other stakeholders that the bank has always adhered to the highest standards of compliance and corporate governance and will continue to do so.”
“Axis Bank has systems and processes that are robust and fully compliant with extant regulations. We will examine whatever information that is brought to our notice and investigate thoroughly.”
“All employees...adhere strictly to the Group Code of Conduct, including AML and KYC norms. We have demonstrated our commitment to this by following a zero tolerance policy towards any violation.”