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Money laundering investigation should be done by ED: Aniruddha Bahal

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Jun 21, 2013 at 06:02pm IST

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Successive Cobrapost investigations has shown private and nationalised Indian banks as well as foreign banks flouting RBI rules and regulations. How can the banking industry be streamlined? Aniruddha Bahal, editor-in-chief of Cobrapost.com, joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the matter.

Q. At present all the know your customer is only on paper. Even in Delhi accounts can be opened in any bank with least checks and balances. till the bankers don't stop giving their employees targets this would continue. Asked by: Arun

A. Targets is perhaps part of the problem. Unregulated commissions from insurance companies the other. But basically it's about senior bank management being complicit in the whole process.

Money laundering investigation should be done by ED: Aniruddha Bahal

Cobrapost.com's Aniruddha Bahal on the Cobrapost exposes on banks openly flouting RBI rules and regulations.

Q. If the banks really flout RBI rules and regulations, as been said now, what stops the RBI from imposing an exemplary punishment on the erring banks/FIs especially on the top hierarchy, to stop of recurrence in near future? Asked by: Birabrata De

A. The fines that the RBI imposed were pathetic. Perhaps a few hours of profits for them. The RBI is acting like an industry association of the banks. They are acting like protectors of the banks instead of being a regulator.

Q. Are there more expose going to be uncovered by you or is there an sense of helplessness and frustration creeping in as powerful always tend to get away in this country? Asked by: Manush

A. We will continue with investigations. Cobrapost has turned non profit since last month. We intend to collect a corpus and function from there in an independent zone.

Q. The issue you made about banks (pvt. & national) was pointing on a major wrongdoing but banks got away with it quite easily making the issue raised by you much smaller than expected. It is kind of your victory though but a small one to start with. Please comment. Asked by: Anand Kumar

A. We can't afford to be too cynical. At least now we know what the banks had been doing across the board and how lax the regulator was.

Q. What are the three things you expect government/regulator to do about this expose but they have not done it yet and are keeping silent about? Asked by: Saurabh

A. The money laundering investigation should be done by the Enforcement Directorate. The connivance of senior management should be investigated. The management should be held accountable.

Q. How do you feel when same CEOs and high level executives take away awards from media organizations or from govt when on ground they are acting like villain against the Interest of the nation. Asked by: Sanjay

A. These banking awards are so pathetic. The media houses felicitate them for favours. Banks are big advertisers and sponsors of events. They also give loans etc as a result media cannot be even handed while reporting on them.

Q. Why do you think govt is not taking action against people like Mallya who have openly siphoned away thousands of crores of banks and are still going scot free so this kind of approach shows indifference and criminal intent of govt. Asked by: Manav

A. The Non performing assets is another big area of concern. It needs a thorough investigation.

Q. Is not the advertising done by corporates and banks made as an attempt to buy media as no big channel is willing to work on cobrapost expose. Asked by: Hitesh

A. Media houses have to learn how to keep a distance. It has to come from the top.

Q. Does this money which s generated from flouting rules and regulations siphoned off to the underworld etc? Asked by: Arun

A. I don't know about the underworld but it certainly improves the bank's bottomline.

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