Banks lost Rs 2,289 crore to scamsters

The recent Rs 300- crore scam in the Gurgaon branch of Citi Bank is a pointer to a disturbing trend: the steady rise in the number of banks falling prey to such frauds.

According to the data compiled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the money lost to such scams has doubled in the past four years. In the current fiscal year, banks lost Rs 2,289 crore (till December), while the loss was Rs 1,057 crore in 2007- 08.

It's the state-of-the-art private banks, including foreign banks, that appear to be more prone to such frauds.

The public sector banks, with their massive presence across the country, also reported an annual average of more than 3,000 cases of frauds and cheating during the past four years. Their better equipped counterparts in the private sector reported almost five times the number of cases.

ICICI Bank alone accounted for almost half of the total scams reported to the RBI. Of the total 21,244 cases reported in 2007-08, a whopping 10,976 were from ICICI. Similarly, in 2008- 09, ICICI reported 13,221 of the total 23,579 cases. The bank reported 15,074 of the total 24,788 fraud cases in 2009- 10.

The second highest number of cases were reported by HSBC (3,770, 3,481, 2,741, 2028); followed by Citi Bank (1,647, 1,182, 1,277, 666); American Express banking (499, 703, 817, 637) and the distant fourth was State Bank of India (561, 745, 545, 615) during the past four financial years - 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 respectively. The figures for the current fiscal are till December, 2010.

Maharashtra, with Mumbai being the country's financial capital, reported the maximum number of fraud cases: (1,006 in 2009- 10 and 1,045 in 2010- 11). Delhi was second with 349 cases in 2009- 10 and 338 in 2010- 11.

Union minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena presented these figures in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

The data has thrown up interesting trends in not just scams and frauds but also the way banks were being targeted by robbers and thieves. Punjab reported the maximum number of dacoity and ATM thefts, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. State Bank of India appeared to be the favourite for thieves and burglars. SBI reported 114 such cases in 2009-10 and 79 this year, followed by State bank of Patiala - 41 and 39 respectively.

Overall, 582 cases were reported across the country in 2009- 10 that resulted in a loss of Rs 21.22 crore, while a recovery of Rs 6.67 crore could be only made.

This year's figure stands at 392 cases, Rs 16.17 crore loss and Rs 4.98 crore recoveries.

More frauds and shocking loss

1,045 bank fraud cases reported by Maharashtra reported in 2010- 11

338 such cases were reported in Delhi in 2010- 11

545 cases reported by SBI - highest by a public sector bank in 2009-10

15,074 cases reported by ICICI in 2009-10 - highest by a private bank

2,741 frauds reported by HSBC in 2009-10 - highest by a foreign bank

2,764 cases reported by public Sector banks in 2010- 11 (till Dec)

Rs 1,497 cr Loss incurred by public Sector banks in 2010- 11 (till Dec)

9,175 cases reported by private banks in 2010- 11

Rs 307 cr Loss to private banks in 2010- 11

Robberies/thefts

Rs 96 lakh Loss reported by banks in Punjab in 2009- 10 because of 81 cases

Rs 21.22 cr Loss reported by banks in across the country in 2009-10

Rs 16.17 cr Loss reported by banks in the country in 2010- 11 ( till date)

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