Punjab National Bank, India’s second-largest state-run lender that has been hit by a slew of recent scandals, on Thursday reported another loan fraud.
A fraud of 36.9 billion rupees ($492 million) is being reported to the Reserve Bank of India in the accounts of Dewan Housing Finance Corp., Punjab National Bank said in an exchange filing. The lender has set aside 12.5 billion rupees of provisions pertaining to this incident, it said.
Dewan Housing is a financier seized by the regulator in November as India stepped up efforts to contain a brewing shadow banking crisis. Punjab National Bank in June reported about 735 billion rupees of gross bad loans for the quarter ended March 31 — 14.21% of total advances down from 15.5% the previous quarter.
This is the fourth scandal Punjab National Bank is complaining of in three years. In 2018 it alleged it was swindled of $2 billion by a jeweler who colluded with bank officials. It reported two more incidents stemming from improper loans last year.
Managing Director S.S. Mallikarjuna Rao had said in June the lender is clearing a backlog of provisions and expects to post net income in every quarter of the financial year started April 1. He also said Punjab National Bank is looking to cement more prudential measures to avoid potential fraud.