Punjab National Bank (PNB) Managing Director Sunil Mehta on Sunday said that the scam-hit bank will be out of the “problem and pain” caused by Nirav Modi fraud case in six months.
“So worst is behind us. Everything now seems to be under control as surgery is over, now we are in the recovery phase. We are anticipating that we will be able to come out of this entire problem and pain in the next 6 months,” he said.
Earlier in February, PNB Bank detected fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 13,000 crore allegedly made by billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
“The bank has received tremendous support from the government, other stakeholders and employees to come out of the situation,” Mehta told PTI in an interview.
He said that the PNB bank’s business grew better than other public-sector banks in the industry despite going through the trying times.
PNB bank’s credit witnessed a growth rate of about 10 per cent, in line with the guidance that was shared with investors, he said.
Emphasising the long legacy and strength of the bank, Mehta said, “it is a 123-year old institution which was founded during Swadeshi movement by Lala Lajpat Rai. This institution has 7,000 branches spread through length and breadth of the country with business of more than Rs 10 lakh crore in the domestic market. So fraud of this nature could not shake the confidence of our customers during this period.”
It is now clear that it was a standalone incident in one of our 7,000 branches because of connivance with some of the staff of the branch. We have learned lessons from it. Whenever a problem comes, it gives an opportunity to strengthen our existing systems and processes. We have improved every system and process with more emphasis on offline monitoring,” he said.
He also revealed that the PNB bank was mulling reform in its credit process by dividing it into four verticals—sourcing, processing, monitoring and recovery.
(With inputs from agencies)