The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cracked the whip major private banks, including the Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Banks for violation of KYC (Know Your Customer) norms and anti-money laundering guidelines and imposed hefty fines on them.
The move came after the RBI launched a probe into the charges levelled during the CobraPost sting operations. A penalty of Rs 5 crore was imposed on Axis Bank, while HDFC was fined with Rs 4.5 crore. The ICICI Bank escaped with a fine of Rs 1 crore.
The RBI noted that the banks were indulged in activities that were not in violations with standard norms and procedures. A close scrutiny of their books of accounts, internal control, compliance systems and payroll and other processes.
While the RBI confirmed about the KYC norm violations, it said that the investigation did not reveal any prima facie evidence of money laundering. The baking regulator further said that any conclusive inference in this regard can be drawn only by an end-to-end investigation of the transactions by tax and enforcement agencies.