'Bank frauds fall drastically over last 5 years to Rs 648 cr in Apr-Dec FY22'

New Delhi: Bank frauds over the last five years have come down drastically to Rs 648 crore in first nine months of 2021-22, on the back of structural and procedural reforms to check such incidents, Parliament was informed on Monday.

In 2016-17, bank frauds stood at Rs 61,229 crore, which declined to Rs 11,583 crore in 2020-21 and then to Rs 648 crore during April-December 2021-22, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Improved detection and reporting along with comprehensive steps resulted in sharp decline of such frauds, he said.

The Reserve Bank of India had issued master directions on frauds in 2016, he said, adding the government has instituted wide-ranging structural and procedural reforms to check frauds in banks.

"Such systematic and comprehensive checking of frauds, including of the legacy stock of non-performing assets (NPAs), led to unearthing of frauds perpetuated over the years," Karad said. Even as the systematic and comprehensive checking has increased the annually reported amount involved in frauds, it has also resulted in sharp decline in occurrence of such frauds, he added.

The minister said that comprehensive steps have been taken to keep a check on frauds in banks, including addressing security flaws and ensuring investigation of such incidents.

He said RBI had issued circular to all banks in 2018 to implement security and operational controls, such as straight-through process between the bank's core banking solution or accounting system and the SWIFT messaging system, enable time-based restrictions in SWIFT, review logs at regular intervals, among others.

"For immediate reporting of financial frauds and to stop siphoning off of funds by fraudsters, Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System module has been made operational by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, working under the Ministry of Home Affairs," Karad said.

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