The state-owned bank said it had detected USD 1.77 billion fraud in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from one its branches for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.
PNB has suspended 10 officers over the scam and referred the matter to the CBI for investigations. The Enforcement Directorate is continuing raids at various places associated with the well-known jewellery designer.
PNB CMD Sunil Mehta told reporters that the bank detected the fraud and has referred the matter to the law enforcement agencies.
"In the last 123 years, we have seen many ups and down. The bank at its full capacity will take every action to book wrongdoers.
"This fraud had started in 2011. Our own bank detected first and told the law enforcement agencies about this. PNB is fully committed to its clean banking policy. That is why we are the first one to detect and report this to the various law enforcement agencies," he said.
Mehta tried to assure stakeholders saying that it was a standalone incident confined to a single branch in Mumbai. He also said all other branches of the bank have been scanned to check any fraudulent activity.
"We have issued advisory as well to them. We were the first to inform SEBI about this under the disclosure norms. So all these things are as per our clean banking agenda," Mehta added.
He further said the government was monitoring the case on day-to-day basis. "The bank has the capability and capacity to come out of this situation."
The top PNB official, however, refrained from providing details as the investigations were going on.
He asserted that action will be taken against all those involved, irrespective of their seniority.
Mehta further said the bank will honour all its bonafide commitments. "We want to convey to all our stakeholders that PNB is pursuing clean banking agenda as a responsible bank."
PNB shares continued to bleed for the second day in a row, ending with a steep loss of 12 per cent at Rs 128.35 apiece on BSE.