Global banking behemoths HSBC and Standard Chartered, whose employees were on Wednesday accused of participating in money laundering in the latest sting operation by investigative website Cobrapost, have launched probes into the allegations.
HSBC said: "HSBC has a zero-tolerance policy for breaches of law and regulation… We will take appropriate action, including dismissal, if any employee is found after investigation to have breached the law or our policy."
Echoing the sentiments, a spokesman at Standard Chartered said, "We expect all staff to conduct our business with the highest standards of ethics and integrity...
We investigate rigorously failures to follow the bank's standards, which may lead to disciplinary action and dismissal," he said.
Cobrapost had in separate sting operations revealed that employees of private and public sector lenders including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda among others were engaged in money laundering.
The lenders named suspended several employees, while many officers have been divested of their work and some asked to proceed on leave till the enquiry is completed.
The finance ministry has asked chiefs of PSBs and LIC to take immediate action and submit a detailed report.