In Three Years, Government Banks Reported 239 Frauds A Month

The number of fraud cases reported by government-run banks was 8,622 between 2014-15 and 2016-17, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told the Lok Sabha in a written reply earlier this month.

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PNB took action against 184 employees for fraud between January 2015 and March 2017

New Delhi:  The 11,300 crore fraud in Punjab National bank (PNB), involving celebrity designer Nirav Modi, may have jolted the banking system, but the rot runs deep. PNB, the second biggest public sector bank in India, reported 471 cases of fraud between 2014-15 and 2016-17, according to the central government.

The number of fraud cases reported by government-run banks during the three financial years, as furnished by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), stands at 8,622, said Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla in a written reply in Lok Sabha earlier this month.

There were 180 cases of fraud in PNB during 2014-15, Mr Shukla said in his reply dated February 2. The number of cases reported during the next fiscal stood at 131 but rose to 160 during 2016-17, the minister's reply said.

Of the 21 public sector banks, State Bank of India (SBI) that is India's biggest bank, saw the most number of fraud cases (893) in 2014-15. That number came down to 770 in the next financial year but rose to 803 in 2016-17, according to the minister's response.

Bank of Baroda comes next on the list, with 303 fraud cases in 2014-15. The number of such cases has shown a dip thereafter - 255 in 2015-16 and 224 in the next financial year.

While the cases of fraud remained high, action taken against bank employees found to be involved has taken a dip. According to the minister's reply in parliament, action was taken against 2,748 employees of government-run banks in 2015 for their involvement in fraud. That number came down to 1,994 in 2016. And 458 employees faced action between January and March 2017.

Public sector banks have a market share of 70 percent but the incidence of frauds in private banks is higher than that in government-run banks.  As many as 4,156 cases of fraud were found between 2014-15 and 2016-17 in private banks and action was taken against 568 employees, Mr Shukla said.

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