Private sector lenders ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank said they were investigating allegations of money laundering practices at their branches, following an accusation by an independent journalist on Thursday.
The banks, however, maintained that their businesses followed the highest levels of legal and regulatory requirements.
An article posted on a news website, Cobrapost.com, claimed that branches across all three banks offered various types of laundering methods to its undercover reporters. It said it had collected hundreds of hours of video recordings as evidence.
HDFC Bank, in a statement, said it was investigating the matter on ‘top priority’, and that it had always adhered to applicable regulatory standards. “The matters are being investigated separately, and we shall arrange to release the findings at the earliest,” HDFC Bank said.
ICICI Bank, on the other hand, said that it was ‘deeply concerned with the media reports’. “We want to assure all our customers that we have constituted a high-level inquiry committee to investigate into the matter. We will submit the findings in two weeks,” the bank said, in a separate filing to the BSE.
Axis Bank said that any deviation to its corporate standards were ‘viewed very seriously’, and that it was confident that it would live up to its high standards.
“While we are fully compliant with extant regulations, we will examine whatever information comes to our notice and investigate thoroughly,” it said.