Pedestrians walk past a Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

RBI Slaps Rs 2-Crore Fine On Punjab National Bank For Violating SWIFT Norms

The Reserve Bank of India slapped a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Punjab National Bank for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication operations, the state-run lender said.

In a regulatory filing, Punjab National Bank said the RBI, in a letter dated March 25, had informed the bank about the penalty.

"In the matter of violations of regulatory directions by Punjab National Bank observed during assessment of implementation of SWIFT-related operational controls, the RBI, (imposes) an aggregate penalty of Rs 20 million on Punjab National Bank," it said.

SWIFT is a global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities. The Rs 14,000-crore fraud perpetrated by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi at the bank was a case of misuse of this messaging software.

Earlier this year, the RBI had imposed penalties worth Rs 71 crore on 36 public, private and foreign banks for non-compliance with various directions on time-bound implementation and strengthening of SWIFT operations. The list, however, did not include Punjab National Bank.

The major banks which were fined by the regulator included the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd., HSBC, Bank of Baroda, Citibank, Canara Bank and Yes Bank Ltd..