Signage for Airtel Payments Bank Ltd., operated by Bharti Airtel Ltd., is displayed outside a mobile accessories store in Bengaluru, India (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

RBI Slaps Rs 5 Crore Penalty On Airtel Payments Bank

The Reserve Bank of India today imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on Airtel Payments Bank for breaching operating guidelines and Know Your Customer norms.

The RBI had issued a show-cause notice to the payments bank on Jan. 15, asking it to explain why a penalty should not be imposed on it after a supervision report found the bank in contravention of these norms, the central bank said in a statement on its website. After taking into account the bank’s response, the central bank decided that the charges of non-compliance were substantiated and “warranted imposition of monetary penalty”.

In December 2017, the UIDAI had temporarily revoked permission for Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank to use Aadhaar numbers for verification, after allegations that the payment bank accounts of mobile consumers were opened without their informed consent.

The bank, however, maintained that no account was opened without the consent of the customers. A company spokesperson in December had said that the company has issued new instructions and urged customers to remain careful while completing their KYC processes.

The central bank said the action against the payments bank is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.