RBI not conducted proper audit on PNB scam: K V Chowdary

Vastavam web: Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary today said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had apparently not conducted an audit during the period of time when a Rs 13,000-crore scam hit the Punjab National Bank.Chowdary stressed the need to put into place a more robust auditing system.”They did not do this (an audit),” the head of the probity watchdog told.

Chowdary said according to the RBI, it had switched over from a periodic audit to a “risk-based” audit which is conducted when there is a financial risk involved.”To determine risk, they must have some parameters. Based on that they would have done that (auditing). (But) there was no apparent audit by the RBI during this period (of fraud),” Chowdary said.Chowdary pointed out that the RBI issues general guidelines as a regulator and also when foreign exchange is involved.

“They are not going to see from branch to branch and bank to bank what they are supposed to do,” he said.It was primarily the responsibility of the banks to ensure that their business was conducted in a proper and ethical way, he added.”It is a good policy. But how they determine the risk parameters… and why this (fraud) did not come up are matters of detail,” Chowdary said.He, however, clarified that it was not just the PNB where an alleged fraud had taken place or that other banks were “100 per cent correct”.

“But we have to only hope that they (the other banks) have a better system and that they are following the system,” Chowdary said.”There should be defined timelines. The preventive vigilance mechanism has to be strengthened. The guidelines and operating procedures have to be strengthened. It has to be ensured that they are followed,” he said.Asked about the investigation in the PNB scam, he said what the CVC was doing in the case could not be disclosed now as “it is work in progress”.”There are so many issues that the CVC is examining both with reference to processes set in motion by the RBI,” Chowdary said.