The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday pooh-poohed money-laundering allegations against three private sector banks — ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank — saying that a recent sting by Cobrapost involved no real violation of law.
It said the country has a “perfect” system to prevent such offences.
The three banks were last week accused of indulging in money laundering practices, with investigative website, Cobrapost, claiming that the sting operation conducted by it had revealed a scam.
“Allegations do not mean flouting norms. There is not a single transaction, which has taken place. These are all transactional issues and have nothing to do with money laundering,” said KC Chakrabarty, deputy governor, RBI, after a meeting with bankers on migration to a new risk-based supervision system.
“There is no scam (that) has happened as no transaction has taken place. Our system to prevent money laundering is perfect, absolutely nothing (wrong with it).”
He said the RBI will further tighten the anti-money laundering norms if needed. “If we find there is a need to further tighten any guideline, we’ll do that.”
Chakrabarty, however, admitted that some people may not be paying taxes and that some such money flows into the system.
“We have given sufficient instructions to banks (about) how to avoid this... You don’t need a sting operation to show that in this country, people have black money. Some black money remains in bank accounts, for that do you require to have a sting operation?”