The number of large-value frauds at public sector banks (PSBs) fell nearly 30% to 1,902 in FY18 from 2,709 in FY17, minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The highest incidence of frauds involving `1 lakh or more was observed at State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest bank. SBI reported 981 instances of large-value fraud in FY18, up 80% from 544 in FY17. Taken together with its associates, SBI’s count for FY17 stood at 798 and the FY18 figure marks a 23% rise over the SBI group’s consolidated FY17 fraud count.
SBI’s associates were merged with it at the beginning of FY18. Following SBI was Gurugram-based Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), a lender with a loan book size just over 7% of SBI’s. The year-on-year (y-o-y) rise in instances of large-value fraud at OBC was the highest among all PSBs — the count for FY18 was 226, up 303% from 56 in FY17. Among banks which saw a substantial y-o-y drop in fraud cases was Bengaluru-based Vijaya Bank, where the number of large-value frauds declined 67% y-o-y to 19 in FY18.
Other banks which saw cases of fraud fall y-o-y in FY18 were Dena Bank and Union Bank of India. Fraud cases decreased by 37% to 27 at Dena Bank and by 34% to 73 at Union Bank. Earlier this year, the government had told Parliament that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating 292 cases of scams and frauds involving 44 banks.
The list of banks included 32 scheduled commercial banks (SCBs), 10 cooperative banks, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Export Import (EXIM) Bank of India. Instances of bank fraud have come under heightened public scrutiny amid the unearthing of a `14,000-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB) and reports of frauds at other PSBs.