KPMG to do Axis Bank’s forensic audit to boost safety: Bank CEO

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New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Axis Bank Chief Executive Shikha Sharma on Sunday said the bank has hired global accounting firm KPMG to do a forensic audit for enhanced due diligence and building more safeguards after cases came to light of bank employees involved in corruption following demonetisation.

An Income Tax Department raid last week at an Axis Bank branch in Noida unearthed Rs 60 crore from the accounts of 20 shell companies.

In a letter assuring Axis Bank customers that Axis bank fundamentals are on “solid footing’, Sharma said the bank is tracking the sudden surge in account activity and have “proactively identified potentially suspicious accounts”.

“This proactive identification has been one of the inputs in investigation by the regulatory authorities, who are visiting some of our branches to seek out information. Further, we have hired KPMG to conduct a forensic audit for enhanced due diligence and building more safeguards,” Sharma wrote.

“The recent media reports around the conduct of a few of our employees have left me embarrassed and upset. We have fallen short of your expectations because a handful of people did not follow our fully compliant and robust processes. We have taken the toughest action against such employees and we will do so in every case of divergence from our Code of Conduct,” she said.

“I would like to reassure you that the bank has always been committed to the highest standards of operational control and continues to fully cooperate with the authorities. We have been tracking sudden surges in account activity and have proactively identified potentially suspicious accounts,” she added.

Sharma regretted that the misdeeds of a few people “have eroded the hard work of 55,000-plus employees, who have been at the front end beyond working hours, displaying extraordinary patience and commitment to their responsibilities.”

Sharma also thanked customers for their support and understanding since the demonetisation initiative, and said the bank has tried its “level best” to make it easier for customers.

“We have made every effort to ease the transition by making special arrangements for senior citizens and differently abled people at our branches, using micro-ATMs to deliver cash to BSF personnel, ensuring salary disbursement to government and corporate employees across the length and breadth of our country,” Sharma said.

–IANS

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