The bank had been penalised by the RBI for repeated service outages in the internet banking, mobile banking and payment utilities space.
In a notification to the exchanges, the bank said, “…RBI has appointed an external professional IT firm for carrying out a special audit of the entire IT infrastructure of the bank under Section 30 (1-B) of the banking regulation Act, 1949 (“the Act”), at the cost of the bank under Section 30 (1-C) of the Act”.
It added, “The bank shall, accordingly, extend its cooperation to the external professional IT firm so appointed by the RBI for conducting the special IT audit.”
In December last year, irked by the repeated service outages, the RBI asked HDFC Bank to temporarily halt all its digital launches as well as new sourcing of credit card customers.
After this action by the RBI, the private lender’s management issued a statement to its customers, apologising for not being able to live up to their expectations at times. But it told customers that it had already taken help from external experts and understood what needs to be done. It also substantially implemented the inputs to strengthen IT infrastructure and systems.
The bank then submitted an action plan last month to the RBI, detailing the steps it is taking to address the issue. HDFC Bank said it was hopeful of improving its technology platform in three months. The plan is supposed to get implemented in 10-12 weeks, the management had said last month during an analysts’ meet.
The measures taken by the RBI against the bank will be lifted once it is satisfied that the bank is in compliance with major critical observations the RBI has made.
In the last monetary policy meet (December), RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said, “We cannot put thousands or lakhs of customers, who are using digital banking, into any kind of difficulty for hours together. This is especially when we are ourselves giving so much of emphasis to digital banking.”
He further went on to add that HDFC Bank has an overwhelming presence in the internet banking segment. “We have some concerns about certain deficiencies (in the bank). Therefore, it is necessary that HDFC Bank strengthens its safety and IT systems before expanding further.”