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NEW DELHI: Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country’s second-largest lender on Wednesday said that it has detected “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth more than Rs 11,500 crore at one of its branches in Mumbai. Here is your cheatsheet on this latest banking fraud:
WHO CARRIED OUT THE FRAUD?
PNB has not revealed the names or other details of those involved in the scam. However, in a filing to the bourses the bank has said the transactions were “for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance” and that “based on these transactions other banks appear to have advanced money to these customers abroad.”
WHAT ACTION HAS PNB TAKEN?
In the stock exchange filing, PNB said that it has reported the fraud to law enforcement and investigative agencies.
IS THERE A BACKGROUND TO THE FRAUD?
Even though there is not much clarity on what lead to the scam, PNB has been grappling with fraud cases recently. Just last week, an investigation was launched over accusations that billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi — one of the country’s richest men — defrauded PNB of Rs 282 crore. However, it could not be immediately ascertained if the two fraud cases have a link.
IS THERE A LARGER IMPACT?
An immediate fallout can be tracked to the equity markets where the PNB stock tanked 8 per cent during intra-day trading on Wednesday. The Nifty PSU Bank sub-index felt the pressure too, as it was trading almost 3 per cent below previous closing mark.
The bank, in its filing has not elaborated on what impact the fraud may have on its finances and it didn’t name the other lenders which could be hurt.
The case comes in the backdrop of state-run banks already reeling under massive bad loans which run into lakhs of crores of rupees. Most PSU banks have performed poorly in the third quarter (October-December) as a result of this.
(With inputs from agencies)