The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched investigation into allegations of money laundering against three private sector banks.
“RBI has initiated the process of carrying out comprehensive scrutinies covering both head office and branches of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank,” said the banking regulator on Monday.
Investigative website Cobrapost had alleged on Thursday that ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank were involved in money laundering by accepting black money from customers to convert them into white money as a standard practice.
RBI said final reports on all the three banks will be completed by March 31, 2013.
Sources said RBI teams have started visiting the branches of the three banks which were named in the sting operations.
Meanwhile, ICICI Bank said it has appointed accounting and audit firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India to conduct an independent forensic inquiry into the allegations. HDFC Bank has also appointed same firm to do forensic inquiry into the allegations of money laundering.
RBI also said that it has undertaken a study in respect of banks that are active in selling gold coins and wealth management products to examine whether there are systemic issues and to plug deficiencies and legal loop-holes if any.