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March 7, 2019

RBI fines 19 lenders for breaching SWIFT use guidelines

A total of 19 Indian lenders, including SBI and ICICI Bank, have been penalised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for violating the guidelines on the use of interbank payments network SWIFT.

Among other banks fined include Union Bank, YES Bank, Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank, IDBI Bank, Karnataka Bank, as well as Karur Vyasya Bank.

According to stock exchange filings by the lenders, the fine for a bank ranged between INR10m ($1,42,536.4m) to INR40m ($5,70,145.7).

The collective amount paid by the banks was INR400m.

In the recent times, various Indian banks have been under the scanner.

The most significant among them was a fraud of around $2bn at state-run lender Punjab National Bank (PNB).

The fraud, detected at one of PNB’s branches in Mumbai last year, allegedly involved the manipulation of SWIFT by PNB employees.

Diamantaire Nirav Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi were embroiled in the scandal.

Soon after the scandal, RBI directed all banks in the country to integrate SWIFT with their core banking solutions.

Last month, the Indian central bank fined Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank for non-compliance with its regulations.

The central bank also fined UCO Bank, Axis Bank and Syndicate Bank in the same month for compliance lapses.

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