Revelations about money laundering by various banks including cooperative banks in the country keep pouring in. But CBI’s recentmost revelation that Urban Cooperative Banks are allegedly involved in a big way in money laundering activities across the country has come as an absolute bombshell. HT correspondent Sanjib K. Baruah’s report “UCBs in CBI’s Net” published today goes into detail about the investigative agency’s work in this regard.
The most worrying thing is the unscrupulous politicians have cynically used cooperative banks located in the country’s largest state UP for making thousands of crore of their black money white. According to the CBI information, most of laundering is done through fictitious accounts.
Sources say the massive amount of black money thus made white by politicians could easily be used for subverting democratic norms and processes in the country.
What passes comprehension is the RBI’s refusal to share information on grounds of confidentiality. But HT feels information on cases of fraud or violation of the guidelines by banks could be shared as intelligence inputs.
Sources say the RBI is subject to the accusation that it has been rather slow in taking action even when it had enough information on the erring banks. The Cobrapost expose had offered enough information about the suspicious activities of some of the banks, the sources assert.
It is worth mentioning that violations of norms by UCBs are particularly dangerous as they have a huge persence across the country. There are nearly two thousand UCBs handling Rs. 2 lakh crore of deposits.
Earlier it was an embarrassment to the apex bank that it initiated a criminal action against the Indian Mercantile Cooperative Bank in UP for money laundering on the basis of the IB intelligence inputs in the matter. Lately of course the RBI has shown to be a little more careful and been inspecting loan files and spotting numerous flagrant violations of the banking guidelines by banks.