No Banking Regulator Can Catch or Prevent All Frauds, says Urjit Patel

No Banking Regulator Can Catch or Prevent All Frauds, says Urjit Patel

"If we need to face the brickbats and be the Neelakantha consuming this poison, we will do so as our duty; we will persist with our endeavours and get better with each trial and tribulation along the way", Patel said. "In plain simple English, these practices amount to a looting of our country's future by some in the business community, in cahoots with some lenders", Dr Patel said. The RBI regulates all commercial banks under the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949, but additionally, all public sector banks (PSBs) are regulated by the government of India under the banking companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970, the Bank Nationalisation Act, 1980 and the State Bank of India Act, 1955. "I do wish more promoters and banks, individually - or collectively through their industry bodies, would reconsider being on the side of Devas rather than Asuras in this Amrit Manthan", added Patel.

Noting that the RBI has instructed banks to "strengthen their SWIFT operating environment", Shukla said the central bank has also constituted an expert committee to look into factors "leading to increasing incidence of frauds in banks and the measures (including information technology interventions) needed to curb and prevent it, and the role and effectiveness of various types of audits conducted in banks in mitigating the incidence of such frauds".

Referring to the PNB fraud, the Reserve Bank had identified, based on cyber risk considerations, the exact source of operational hazard, according to Patel.

He noted the central bank had warned on the potential gaps in banking systems in 2016, but lamented that PNB did not work to eliminate the hazards. "If a regulator could achieve such flawless outcomes, it would effectively imply that the regulator can do anything that banks can do, and by implication, can simply perform the entire banking intermediation activity itself". On the issue of of rising bad loans (NPA), he said that the problems needs immediate attention.

Addressing a lecture on "Banking Regulatory Powers Should Be Ownership Neutral" at Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, Patel stated that a model of dual regulation of banks in India - by the RBI and the government - leads to the fissures in the banking industry.

Highlighting the need to address the Rs 8.5 lakh crore stressed assets lying on the balance sheets of Indian banks, the RBI governor bat for regulator's revised framework it released last month for prompt recognition and resolution of stressed assets. "The RBI has been clamping down on the failure to recognise asset quality as non-performing as per its norms by requiring that banks, whose "divergence" exceeds by 15% of the true NPAs as per the norms disclose the divergence", he said.