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Bank frauds soar to over Rs 41,000 crore, reports RBI

Frauds have emerged as the “most serious concern” in managing risk in the Indian banking system, rising 72% in their financial value in 2017-’18, a report released by the Reserve Bank of India on Friday showed. The fraud amount in 2016-’17 was Rs 23,934 crore but rose to Rs 41,168 crore the next year.

The value has increased four times since 2013-’14. The sharp jump in 2017-’18 “mainly reflected a large-value case in the jewellery sector”, the central bank said in an apparent reference to the Punjab National Bank scam, in which businessmen Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are the prime accused. The scam, revealed in February 2018, involved a fraud of over Rs 13,000 crore.

About 80% of all the frauds reported in 2017-’18 were large-value frauds involving Rs 50 crore or above, the RBI’s report said. Public sector banks accounted for as many as 93% of the cases involving more than Rs 1 lakh. The number of bank frauds increased from 5,076 in 2016-’17 to 5,917 the following year.

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