PNB Must Own Responsibility For "Bonafide Transactions", Says Finance Ministry

Morgan Stanley estimated if Punjab National Bank had to assume all the liability from the fraud, PNB would need Rs 8,000 crore in additional capital

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PNB Must Own Responsibility For 'Bonafide Transactions', Says Finance Ministry

Some banks said Punjab National Bank was liable to make good on the credit extended (Reuters)


New Delhi:  Punjab National Bank, which is at the centre of a probe into a Rs 11,300 crore loan fraud scam, will need to honour the "bonafide" transactions that have occurred through the bank's platform, a finance ministry official said today.

In the case, diamond billionaire Nirav Modi and others are accused of colluding with bank employees to fraudulently obtain advances for payments to overseas business suppliers, in India's biggest ever bank scam.

Some banks have said that PNB was liable to make good on the credit extended, although PNB maintains other lenders share some of the blame as they should have more closely examined the requests for credit. Analysts have warned, however, that PNB may be left on the hook.

Rajiv Kumar, India's financial services secretary, said the bank "will have to own responsibility of bonafide transactions."

Morgan Stanley estimated on Thursday if PNB had to assume all the liability from the fraud it would need Rs 8,000 crore in additional capital, which at the stock's current valuation would mean a 14 per cent dilution.

Mr Kumar also said the ministry had written to all banks to take effective steps to avoid a repeat of a PNB-like fraud. The Reserve Bank of India will also take all the required steps in the fraud case, Kumar said.

"Our responsibility is to ensure that fire alarms are installed and are in working condition. We can't stop every fire," Mr Kumar said.
 
© Thomson Reuters 2018


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