The three largest private banks in India - ICICI, HDFC and Axis - have appointed Deloitte to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations that the lenders have supported money laundering. The move comes after an online magazine claimed its undercover investigation revealed that the three Indian private banks violated several anti-money laundering rules. The report of the advisory firm will be ready by the end of March.
Undercover at banks
Journalists of the magazine visited 20 branches of HDFC Bank, 19 branches of ICICI Bank and nine branches of Axis Bank across the country during early 2013. Several employees in these three banks were captured on video tape offering money laundering as a product to the undercover journalists.
ICICI Bank states that, although its employees crossed the line, no actual malafide transactions have taken place. The bank did though suspend 18 employees pending completion of inquiry. Axis Bank has not suspended any employees but asked 16 employees concerned to report to respective legal offices, pending the outcome of the forensic study. HDFC Bank declined to comment to the press.