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Rediff.com  » Business » RBI seeks details on money laundering allegations

RBI seeks details on money laundering allegations

March 14, 2013 21:10 IST

The Reserve Bank is collecting information regarding the alleged acts of money laundering by the country's three largest private sector banks, its Deputy Governor Urjit Patel said.

The country's three largest private banks were today accused of indulging in money laundering both within and outside, with an online portal claiming that a sting operation conducted by it has revealed a scam.

"The RBI is in touch with the banks. At the moment, that is what I can say... We are collecting information," Patel said.

When asked if any of the three banks in question - ICICI Bank, Axis Bank or HDFC Bank -- have been issued a show-cause notice in the aftermath of the expose,  Patel said "No".

The portal Cobrapost played the contents of purported video recording of officials of HDFC, ICICI and Axis bank allegedly agreeing to receive unverified sums of cash and put them in their investment schemes and benami accounts in violation of anti-money laundering laws.

The footage shows a number of senior executives of the three banks verbally agreeing to take huge amounts of cash from the undercover reporter and putting them into a variety of long-term investment plans so that the black money ultimately is converted into white.

However, no account was opened nor any cash deposited in these banks.

All the three banks claimed they conduct their business in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements of the highest standards but said they will investigate the charges.

However, no account was opened nor any cash deposited in these banks.

Reacting to it, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Government will not jump to any conclusions in the matter, while the CBDT said it has taken cognisance of the sting operation and has begun a probe into it.

Stocks of the three banks were hit initially on bourses but recovered later on. The BSE's sectoral Bankex gained 2.08 per cent or 280.93 at the end of trade to close at 13,796.47 points as against the 1.07 per cent.

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