As per data reported by PSBs, during the last three financial years, staff accountability has been examined in 29,30,762 NPA accounts, and staff accountability has been fixed in respect of 53,122, or 1.8%, of these.
Bank staff have been found to be accountable in less than 2% of the cases of non-performing assets (NPAs) at public-sector banks (PSBs) examined over the last three financial years for determining accountability, minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. As per data reported by PSBs, during the last three financial years, staff accountability has been examined in 29,30,762 NPA accounts, and staff accountability has been fixed in respect of 53,122, or 1.8%, of these.
At the end of March, the aggregate gross NPAs at 21 PSBs stood at around `9 lakh crore, accounting for 10.4% of non-food credit in the system. The data released by the minister gains significance amid the indictment of a number of bankers with respect to loans to borrowers who later defaulted. In recent months, the incumbent and previous executives of Bank of Maharashtra, IDBI Bank, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank have been either arrested or chargesheeted by state agencies. Allegations of collusion are also being investigated in the `14,000-crore letters-of-undertaking (LoU) fraud unearthed at Punjab National Bank (PNB).
The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has endorsed a proposal for banks to offer legal and financial support to employees being probed by investigative agencies for bona fide lending decisions, following a similar decision taken internally by State Bank of India (SBI). Earlier this year, the government had told the Parliament that PSBs have penalised employees in more than 5,000 instances of scams and frauds between January 2015 and March 2017 with more than half of them being in 2015.
Employees have been convicted, awarded major or minor penalties including being dismissed from service. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued guidelines on examining staff accountability under various circumstances. As per RBI instructions on the internal control and inspection/audit system in banks, lenders must fix staff accountability in cases of irregularities and malpractices at all levels at the appropriate time.