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Cobrapost shows brighter side of Indian banking

June 20, 2013 09:37 IST

Online news portal,, in the news of late for exposing unethical practices by banks, sprang up a surprise yesterday when it reported having come across a few ‘honest’ bank managers in the course of the fourth episode of its expose.

A client counts his money near a bank's teller. Photograph: Bassim Shati/reutersUnlike the previous editions of the operation, which were made public in press conferences, Cobrapost tied up with a television channel for the latest expose. The episode was broadcast on Wednesday.

While the first three parts of the operation, codenamed ‘Red Spider’, dealt with Indian banks (both private and state-run), the fourth part targeted a couple of foreign banks - Standard Chartered and HSBC. Both banks have denied allegations and said they conformed to the highest form of governance.

“It is not just the home- grown banks that have failed in maintaining their code of ethical banking. Even personnel of foreign banks that India has welcomed to set up shop on its soil, are equally guilty of misconduct,” Cobrapost said in a post.

“Our investigation across the banking industry in the country has revealed a progressive deterioration of banking ethics and fierce violation

of financial norms. But not all is dark and grim in the Indian banking sector. Out of hundreds of banking personnel whom Cobrapost reporters interacted with across the country, there are a few bank managers who stood out as redemptive icons of the Indian banking industry. This special feature is dedicated to these five bankers who upheld the ethics and principles of banking,” a post on the portal said.

According to the portal, when Cobrapost Associate Editor Syed Masroor Hasan presented these ethical bankers with the proposition of converting his fictitious politician’s black money to white, they refused to accept any deposit in cash and insisted every transaction be accompanied by the mandatory PAN card.

“They refused to pay personal visits to the clients’ residence for any consultation, they insisted on declaration of source of income for all heavy deposits and they informed the client, right at the outset, that any investment advice would happen only after a detailed financial assessment of the client,” Cobrapost said.

The bankers who honoured the regulations of the Reserve Bank of India and the income tax department “in word and in deed” are Balasubramaniam, Branch Manager - Hyderabad, Axis Bank, S K Garg, Bank of Baroda - Moradabad,  Anurag Prakash of Canara Bank, Ashish Agarwal and Akash U of HSBC.

“Akash will not accept the money if the client does not declare the source of funds. And neither would Balasubramaniam, SK Garg, Anurag Prakash or Ashish Agarwal. It is heartening to see these bankers lead by example,” the post said.

BS Reporter in New Delhi