PNB suspends 10 in a fraud involving top jewellery designer


One of India's biggest banks rattled investors Wednesday by announcing the discovery of $1.8 billion of fraudulent activity at one of its branches.

Further, after the detection of PNB fraud, PNB will have to go for higher provisioning, which will hurting the finances of bank.

PNB for December quarter has reported lower than expected earnings as the bank has reported 11% growth in the Profit to Rs 230.11 crore and net interest income grew 7 percent to Rs 3,989 crore year-on-year, which were below the analysts' expectation of Rs 558 crore and Rs 4,123 crore, respectively.

Punjab National Bank (PNB), the country's second-biggest state-run bank has detected a $1.8 billion fraud+ at one of its Mumbai branches, the impact of which could extend to other lenders as well.

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PNB said in a statement that fraudulent transactions took place in one of its branches in Mumbai for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance. "It seems that based on the records of these transactions, some banks have given them loans overseas".

PNB's complaint had said three diamond firms-Diamonds R Us, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds-approached it on 16 January with a request for buyers' credit for making payment to overseas suppliers. The report filed by the lender with the CBI also named two employees for colluding with Modi.

"In the bank these transactions are contingent in nature and liability arising out of these on the bank shall be decided based on the law and genuineness of underlying transactions", PNB also said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) didn't reply to an email seeking comment.

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This has now opened up the bank to potential claims by other banks. At the time, PNB had said it was digging into records to examine the magnitude of the fraud.

"This (investigation) is a part of the clean up drive that started with AQR (Asset Quality Review) in 2015".

The agency received the complaints about the transactions detected by the public sector bank late last night. The CBI had earlier booked Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi andPNB officials for cheating the bank to the tune of Rs 280.7 crore.

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