Among all the public sector banks in India, State Bank of India (SBI) saw the highest number of employees penalised for their involvement in bank fraud over the course of past three years. From 2015 to 2017, action was taken against a total of 1,287 SBI officials for case of bank fraud amounting to Rs 1 lakh or more, according to data furnished by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Looking at the entire Indian banking sector, though, the number of SBI employees falls short of what ICICI Bank had to show by a big margin. The private lender took action against its 2,236 employees for individual cases of bank fraud, showed an answer presented before Rajya Sabha by Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, based on data provided by the RBI.
Punjab National Bank (PNB), which is still recovering from the Rs 14,000-crore Nirav Modi fraud, reported the third highest number of employees involved in fraud cases in the country during the three years. In total, 1,127 PNB employees had to face the music between 2015 and 2017 over charges of fraud.
The SBI has been engaged in legal battle with Vijay Mallya as the leader of consortium of banks which lent to the fugitive liquor baron. The ICICI Bank, on the other hand, was plunged into controversy when its last CEO Chanda Kochhar faced charges of quid pro quo earlier this year over loans granted to Venugopal Dhoot-led Videocon group. The PNB went through a rough patch this year after several of its employees were found in cahoots with absconding diamond businessmen Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi in the biggest ever bank fraud of the country.
During 2015-17, a total of 728 employees of Central Bank of India faced action in cases of bank fraud, whereas Bank of Baroda saw 674 such cases. In the past three years, 13,949 officials of 60 public and private banks were penalised for defrauding bank assets.
Notably, the number of bank fraud cases saw a steady decline over the course of past three years. A total of 5,785 bank employees were charged with fraud in 2015, which came down to 4,360 in 2016. It further fell to 3,804 cases of individual bank frauds in 2017, Shukla's written answer to Rajya Sabha showed.
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