Mumbai: ICICI Bank suspended 18 employees following a report by news website Cobrapost that purportedly shows employees at the lender, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank helping clients with money laundering.
ICICI Bank, India's second-largest lender by assets, said in a text message yesterday it suspended the staff members pending an investigation into the report. Separately, HDFC Bank has appointed Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India to probe the allegations, spokesman Neeraj Jha wrote in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Axis Bank formed a senior-level panel to investigate and asked 16 employees to report to their administrative offices, according to an e-mailed statement.
The three lenders are running a nationwide "money laundering racket," violating multiple rules including tax and banking regulations, news website Cobrapost reported after a sting operation. The RBI is collecting information on the report, Deputy Governor Urjit Patel told reporters in Mumbai on March 14. Shares of ICICI Bank slid 3.9 per cent in Mumbai on Friday. HDFC Bank slumped 1.5 per cent and Axis declined one per cent.