No traces of money laundering : Kochhar

No traces of money laundering : Kochhar

Few transactional errors found by external auditor Mumbai (PTI): Revealing the audit findings over the issue of money laundering, the ICICI Bank...

Few transactional errors found by external auditor

ko2Mumbai (PTI): Revealing the audit findings over the issue of money laundering, the ICICI Bank Chief Executive and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar said that the forensic audit carried out by Deloitte has found only some "transactional errors" and there is no trace of money laundering.

The audit was instituted following a sting operation by an online new portal claiming money laundering is being done by banks on a large scale. A While announcing the bank's fourth quarter results, Kochhar said, "There have been instances of some errors which have been found. We would, to that extent, tighten our controls to reduce these errors but there have been no instances of money laundering that have taken place."

She further pointed out that these kinds of errors are just transactional in nature and in day-to-day working, any bank would have some amount of transactional error. "When you do an audit, you do discover some transactional errors but as I said, no instances of money laundering," she stressed.

Kochhar said the bank had set up an internal enquiry committee and also appointed Deloitte as an external auditor to carry out forensic analysis. The findings are based on the internal committee's report and Deloitte's interim report, she said.

"Bank's procedures to implement KYC and anti-money laundering regulations have been found to be satisfactory," she said.A Last month, online news 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.A However, a probe by the RBI found some "aberrations" in the working of the three banks.

Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru had last week said: "An audit report has come and now the banks would probably be asked for their versions...We don't need to recommend anything; we discussed the issue and everybody will do whatever one is supposed to do after that."

Kochhar emphasised that no suspicious transactions have taken place either in the 14 branches where undercover reporters from Cobrapost purportedly carried out the sting or any of its other branches.A Meanwhile, Axis Bank ED Somnath Sengupta said that the bank has appointed KPMG to do a forensic audit. He declined to give a timeline for concluding the probe, but asserted that prima-facie there had been no wrongdoing on the bank's part.

"Enquiries were initiated by external agencies and the bank's own internal audit team into the matter. There is no evidence of any systemic money laundering in the bank," he said.

ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have suspended employees. According to Cobrapost, the banks' executives had allegedly shown readiness in accepting unaccounted money into investment products, which point to non-compliance of know your customer (KYC) norms and also indicate a form of money laundering.

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