The financial year of 2017-18 saw 21 public sector banks (PSBs) incurring losses totalling to Rs 25,775 crore due to banking frauds as per a Right to Information .
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) had incurred the highest loss of Rs 6461.13 crore due to different cases of fraud during the fiscal that ended on March 31 this year, Chandrasekhar Gaud, who had filed the RTI with the Reserve Bank of India, told PTI today.
He added that the reply, which was sent to him on May 15, did not specify details of any particular case of banking fraud.
One of the biggest banking frauds, allegedly involving diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and PNB officials, is being currently investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The investigating agency has filed two charge sheets in the special CBI court in Mumbai in connection with the Rs 12,636 crore PNB scam.
The RTI reply stated that the State Bank of India had, during this period, incurred losses of Rs 2390.75 crore due to various cases of banking fraud.
In the given period, the Bank of India had incurred a loss of Rs 2,224.86 crore, Bank of Baroda’s losses stood at Rs 1,928.25 crore, Allahabad Bank at Rs 1,520.37 crore, Andhra Bank at Rs 1,303.30 crore and Uco Bank at Rs 1,224.64 crore.
The RTI reply informed that the IDBI Bank incurred losses of Rs 1,116.53 crore, Union Bank of India had losses of Rs 1,095.84 crore, Central Bank of India of Rs 1,084.50 crore, Bank of Maharashtra of Rs 1,029.23 crore and Indian Overseas Bank had incurred a loss of Rs 1,015.79 crore.
The RBI has clarified in the RTI that only those cases of fraud, involving a sum of over Rs 1 lakh, were included in the list.
It, however, did not disclose the numbers of cases or the nature of fraud.
Other banks, as per the RTI, that faced losses due to fraud during this period were Corporation Bank with a loss of Rs 970.89 crore, United Bank of India with Rs 880.53 crore, Oriental Bank of Commerce with Rs 650.28 crore and Syndicate Bank with Rs 455.05 crore.
Canara Bank at Rs 190.77 crore, Punjab and Sind Bank at Rs 90.01 crore, Dena Bank at Rs 89.25 crore, Vijaya Bank at Rs 28.58 crore and Indian Bank at Rs 24.23-crore made up the rest of the list provided by RBI as part of its RTI reply.
Economist Jayantilal Bhandari, commenting on the RTI, said that the condition of 21 PSBs of the country was “extremely worrisome” due to banking fraud.
Bhandari said, “With regard to fraud cases, the banks are not only facing huge economic losses, but the prospects of giving new loans by them in the future are also affected adversely. This situation is obviously not good for the economy.”