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RBI sets new rules to prevent fraud
Fri, 3 Jun Pre-Open

Money can corrupt a man's mind. If he sees too much of it floating around, he'd probably want to grab a handful of it.

Take for instance the banking business. It's a place that's constantly dealing with huge sums of money. Think about the huge risks associated with it. It is no wonder that time and again banking frauds by rogue employees have led to major bank collapses. In India, just a few months back, the relationship manager at the Gurgaon branch of Citibank India was found to be involved in a multi-crore fraud.

The risks will never go away. What one can do is build robust systems with effective controls and checks. Our esteemed central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has chalked out new set of rules for banks that would help prevent frauds and irregularities.

The RBI has directed banks to frame staff rotation and leave policies for employees working in sensitive areas of the banks such as the treasury department and also relationship managers handling the accounts of high-value clients. Staff rotation and leave policies are popular international practices that enable banks to keep a tab on the decisions taken and work handled by their employees. Such practices help create proper checks and act as deterrents against any wrongdoing that employees may be tempted to be part of.

According to a notification by the RBI, these new rules have been introduced on the back of certain forensic studies at some banks due to the "occurrence of large value frauds or sharp increase in number of frauds at such banks".

Additionally, the central bank has asked private and foreign banks to appoint chief of internal vigilance (CIV) officers. The responsibilities of these officers would be akin to those of chief vigilance officers in public sector banks.

We believe that the RBI's move has been timely and will go a long way in strengthening the Indian banking system.

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