The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 27 July said it has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Axis Bank for contravention of certain provisions of directions issued by the RBI, including on cybersecurity framework.
The penalty has been imposed for “contravention of/non-compliance” with certain provisions of directions issued by the RBI. They include ‘Strengthening the Controls of Payment Ecosystem between Sponsor Banks and SCBs/UCBs as a Corporate Customer’; ‘Cyber Security Framework in Banks’; and ‘Reserve Bank of India (Financial Services provided by Banks) Directions, 2016’. They include ‘Financial Inclusion-Access to Banking Services-Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account’; and ‘Frauds-Classification and Reporting’.
The RBI said that it conducted the statutory inspections for supervisory evaluation (ISE) of the bank with reference to its financial position as of 31 March 2017, (ISE 2017), 31 March 2018, (ISE 2018), and 31 March 2019 (ISE 2019).
The examination of the Risk Assessment Reports pertaining to ISE 2017, ISE 2018 and ISE 2019; the report of scrutiny carried out by RBI in the backdrop of the incident relating to fraud and related correspondence thereto; and the incident report related to a few suspected transactions and related correspondence, which the bank had submitted in June 2020 revealed contravention of or non-compliance with the directions.
The RBI issued notices to the bank, advising it to explain why no penalty should be imposed on it for its failure to comply with the directions.
After considering the bank’s replies, oral submissions, and examination of additional submissions, the RBI came to the conclusion that the charges of non-compliance with/contravention of the directions were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty, the central bank said.
The RBI, however, added the imposition of penalty is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.
Meanwhile, the RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Alibag Co-operative Urban Bank Limited, Raigad, and Rs 1 lakh on The Mahabaleshwar Urban Cooperative Bank Limited, Mahabaleshwar, for deficiencies of regulatory compliance.