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Fraud Hit PNB Posts Biggest Quarterly Loss Of Rs 13,417 Crore In Q4

Scam-hit Punjab National Bank today posted loss of Rs 13,416.91 crore for the January-March period, the biggest ever by any domestic lender, as bad loans surged.

Photo Credit : Reuters,

The state-owned bank had reported standalone profit of Rs 261.90 crore in the fourth quarter of the preceding fiscal 2016-17. With regards to provision made for the loss incurred on account of Nirav Modi fraud, the bank said it provided for Rs 7,178 crore, 50 per cent of the total amount of Rs 14,356 crore in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. The remaining amount will be covered in the three quarters of the current fiscal year.

PNB further said it has paid Rs 6,586.11 crore to other banks to discharge its liabilities towards Letter of Undertakings (LoUs) and Foreign Letter of Credits (FLCs) issued fraudulently and in unauthorised manner to certain overseas branches of Indian banks through the misuse of SWIFT system of the bank, which was then not integrated with CBS (core banking solutions).

Modi and his associates in connivance with some officials of PNB defrauded the bank of over USD 2 billion dollar.

Yesterday, the bank board, following government diktat, had divested two executive directors -- K V Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan -- of all financial and executive powers. The action came after CBI named them in a chargesheet filed in the Nirav Modi fraud case.


Since these two executive directors did not attend today's board meeting to consider and approve the fourth quarter financial result, so their signatures are not on the annual financial results.


The total income for the fourth quarter also declined to Rs 12,945.68 crore from Rs 14,989.33 crore in the year-ago period. The bank has witnessed deterioration in gross net performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans, which rose to 18.38 per cent of gross advances at the end of March this year, as against 12.53 per cent a year ago.


Net NPAs were also soared to 11.24 per cent against 7.81 per cent year ago.


In absolute term, the gross NPA of the bank surged to Rs 86,620 crore in the fourth quarter as compared to Rs 55,370 crore in same quarter a year ago. Similarly, the net NPA also rose to Rs 48,684.29 crore from Rs 32,702 crore at the end of March 2017.


As a result, provisions for the bad loans jumped four-fold to Rs 16,202.82 crore for the quarter under review compared to Rs 4,910.39 crore parked aside in the same period a year ago.


Total provisions other than tax also increased to Rs 20,353.10 crore as against Rs 5,753.51 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal. In the fourth quarter, the bank’s gross domestic business grew 7.8 per cent on annual basis over the corresponding period last year to Rs 10.31 lakh crore, PNB said in a statement.


Total deposits of the bank recorded a growth of 3.3 per cent to reach Rs 6,42,226 crore in March, 2018. PNB’s CASA (current account savings account) deposits increased to Rs 2,63,247 crore and its share in overall deposits was 43.85 per cent in March 2018, it said. Even on operating profit basis, the bank had loss of Rs 447.38 crore in the quarter as against Rs 6,231.79 crore profit in the year-ago period.


As per the quarterly number, the RBI detected Gross NPA divergence of Rs 2,207 crore during the FY17. Accordingly, the net profit of the bank was adjusted to Rs 532.6 crore as against declared profit of Rs 1,324.8 crore for entire 2016-17.

During the quarter, the government made capital infusion of Rs 5,473 crore by way of preferential allotment of equity. Consequently the government share holding rose is 62.25 per cent on March 31, 2018 from to 57.04 per cent before preferential allotment.

For the full fiscal 2017-18, bank posted standalone loss of Rs 12,282.82 crore against a profit of Rs 1,324.80 crore in 2016-17. The total income for the fiscal rose marginally to Rs 56,876.63 crore, up from Rs 56,227.36 crore a year earlier. On consolidated basis, the bank booked a loss of Rs 12,130.05 crore as against a profit of Rs 1,187.24 crore in 2016-17, while total income rose Rs 57,608.19 crore from Rs 57,225.66 crore a year ago.

The statement further said several steps are in the pipeline or have already been initiated by the bank to reduce dependence on human intervention.

"The bank plans to rely on artificial intelligence (AI) for reconciliation of accounts and incorporate analytics for improving audit systems. Further, the internal audit process is also being augmented to give higher weight to the off-site monitoring mechanism and reduce dependence on physical inspection and audit to identify risks," it said.

To ensure proper checks and balances, PNB has gone for a four-way split for loan operations and created a focused off-site centre for monitoring all foreign exchange businesses. 


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