Bank will bounce back from fraud hit in 6 months: PNB Chief

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New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) said on Tuesday that it will recover from the impact of the recent fraud in six months’ time and is actively working to improve its internal systems by incorporating analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), as Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant ruled out privatisation of banks.

According to a PNB release, at the bank’s circle heads’ conference here PNB Chief Executive Sunil Mehta said the bank has strengthened the process of credit underwriting “to wean out any possibility of fraudulent behaviour and ensure a fair evaluation”.

In February, PNB reported the Rs 13,000 crore fraud committed by the accused diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi — both of whom are on the run.

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“Every threat is an opportunity and PNB has the capability and capacity to come out of this situation. It will bounce back in six months,” Mehta said in his address, according to the statement.

“Over the past few months, PNB has been actively working towards improving internal systems by incorporating analytics and AI for reconciliation of accounts.

“With the help of third-party analytics, PNB will get access to contact information of PNB defaulters who have good credit record with other lenders and identify and automate profitable lending strategies and minimize credit and fraud risk,” he said.

Amitabh Kant said in his address that the government is not interested in privatising public sector banks (PSBs) and that the bigger challenge for PSBs is the advent of new players and increased competition.

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According to the statement, he said: “My message to PNB is to stay determined, recognize gaps, recapitalize, resolve and reform.”

–IANS

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