Over 6,800 cases of bank fraud involving an unprecedented Rs 71,500 crore have been reported in 2018-19, the Reserve Bank of India has said. A total of 5,916 such cases were reported by banks in 2017-18 involving Rs 41,167.03 crore, it said.
As many as 6,801 cases of fraud were reported by scheduled commercial banks and select financial institutions involving an amount of Rs 71,542.93 crore in the last fiscal (increase of over 73 per cent in the fraud amount), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in reply to an RTI query filed by this PTI journalist.
In the last 11 fiscal years, a total of 53,334 cases of fraud were reported by banks involving a massive amount of Rs 2.05 lakh crore, the central bank’s data said. During 2008-09, a total of 4,372 cases were reported involving an amount of Rs 1,860.09 crore. In 2009-10, Rs 1,998.94 crore worth fraud was reported in 4,669 cases.
A total of 4,534 and 4,093 such cases were reported in 2010-11 and 2011-12 involving Rs 3,815.76 crore and Rs 4,501.15 crore, respectively. In the 2012-13 fiscal, 4,235 fraud cases involving Rs 8,590.86 crore were reported by banks as against 4,306 cases (involving Rs 10,170.81 crore) in 2013-14 and 4,639 cases (involving Rs 19,455.07 crore) in 2014-15, the RBI said.
As many as 4,693 and 5,076 cases of fraud were reported in 2015-16 and 2016-17 involving Rs 18,698.82 crore and Rs 23,933.85 crore, respectively, it said. “Cases of fraud reported to RBI are required to be filed by banks as criminal complaints with law enforcement agencies. The information in respect of action being taken or already taken is not available readily,” the central bank said.
The data assumes significance as banks are grappling with high-profile fraud cases involving absconding billionaire Nirav Modi and liquor baron Vijay Mallya among others. The large-scale fraud had prompted anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to do an analysis and it came out with a report on top 100 frauds.
The analysis focussed on the modus operandi, amount involved, type of lending (consortium or individual), anomalies observed, loopholes that facilitated perpetration of the fraud concerned and the systemic improvement required to plug the gaps in the system and procedures.
The frauds were classified and analysed for 13 sectors, including gem and jewellery, manufacturing and industry, agriculture, media, aviation, service and project, discounting of cheques, trading, information technology, export business, fixed deposits, demand loan and letter of comfort. The measures suggested by the CVC included strengthening standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the monitoring system, among others.
The CBI in 2018 booked top officials of two public sector banks, a former CMD of IDBI Bank, former Aircel promoter C Sivasankaran, his son and companies controlled by him in connection with a Rs 600-crore loan fraud in the IDBI. The investigative agency named 15 bank officials who worked at senior levels at the IDBI in 2010 and 2014 when loans were sanctioned to companies controlled by Sivasankaran, in its FIR registered on a complaint from the CVC.
Managing Director and CEO of Indian Bank, Kishor Kharat (who was then MD and CEO of IDBI Bank) and his counterpart in Syndicate Bank, Melwyn Rego (then deputy managing director in IDBI Bank) along with then Chairman-cum-Managing Director of IDBI Bank M S Raghavan, have been named in the latest FIR filed by the CBI. Central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are also probing big-ticket bank fraud cases.