10-Day Surprise Leave For Vital Bank Staff Under RBI's Latest Risk Management Guidelines

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As part of its modified risk management guidelines, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that bankers working in sensitive positions, including treasury operations and currency chests, will get a surprise holiday of at least ten working days or more in a single spell every year, reports Times of India.

"As a prudent operational risk management measure, the banks shall put in place a 'mandatory leave' policy wherein the employees posted in sensitive positions or areas of operation shall be compulsorily sent on leave for a few days (not less than 10 working days) in a single spell every year, without giving any prior intimation to these employees, thereby maintaining an element of surprise," the RBI communication said.

The central bank also added that the employee should not be granted access to office files or systems once on leave.

"Banks shall ensure that the employees, while on mandatory leave, do not have access to any physical or virtual resources related to their work responsibilities, with the exception of internal/ corporate email which is usually available to all employees for general purposes," it added.

It should be noted that the RBI had first issued mandatory leave directives back in April 2015 as a part of the central bank's efforts to curb fraud. Under the 2015 directives, employees in sensitive positions were required to go on mandatory leave. However, it was observed that employees had managed to cover their tracks in cases of fraud before going on leave.

For instance, in the case of the Nirav Modi fraud, the Punjab National Bank employee concerned managed to make fraudulent entries in the Swift system for years before being apprehended.

The central bank now has updated the 'mandatory leave' policy for the employees posted in sensitive positions or areas of operation and, at the same time, has repealed the circular dated 23 April 2015.

The revised instructions shall apply to all the banks within six months.

RBI also asked banks to decide at their board level which positions qualify to be part of the sensitive list.

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