Fraud-hit PNB aimed to expand 10.8 percent business growth in 2018/19

Vastavam web: Fraud-hit lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) said on Sunday it aimed to expand its total business 10.8 percent to 12 trillion rupees ($180 billion) in the year to March 2019 and outlined steps to prevent more such frauds.The second-largest state-run bank in February disclosed that two jewellery groups had defrauded it of more than $2 billion by raising credit from overseas branches of other Indian banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.

While investigation continues into what has been called the biggest fraud in India’s banking history, PNB said after a board meeting that it had strengthened the process of underwriting credit to minimise the possibility of fraud.The bank will also rely more on an off-site monitoring mechanism and reduce its dependence on physical inspection and audit to identify risks, it added.PNB has constituted a specialised stressed-assets management vertical for early identification of bad loans, the bank said.