A day after online media firm Cobrapost made money-laundering allegations against the employees of banks and insurance companies, public sector banks mentioned in the sting operation suspended 15 employees and took action against 16 others.
"So far, 15 officers/employees of various public sector banks (PSBs) have been suspended including one from insurance sector. Besides, 10 officers of PSBs have been divested of their work and six have been asked to proceed on leave," said the finance ministry in a statement on Tuesday. It said more action taken reports are expected in the near future. On Monday, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru had asked the banks and the Life Insurance Corporation of India to immediately suspend employees suspected of facilitating money laundering and asked for an action taken report after completing the inquiry expeditiously. He said any employee seen advising potential customers on getting around the Reserve Bank of India norms on money laundering and know your customer, among others, would be placed under suspension.
According to the finance ministry statement, in case where the behaviour and conduct of an employee fails to meet the standards of conduct and behaviour expected of him or brings the institution into disrepute, such person may immediately be divested of his work and advised to voluntarily proceed on leave, while a detailed examination on the same lines is conducted.
The State Bank of India has suspended two officials and asked three employees to go on leave, sources said. The bank's Hyderabad-based inspection and audit unit has begun internal audit at five branches where officials were shown to have allegedly advised clients on money laundering. Its audit would cover incidents and working of systems. The team may complete the report in 10 days, said an official.