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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stanchart officers dupe 200 cr from clients

Mumbai: In yet another banking fraud at the hands of greedy relationship managers of the foreign banks, some employees of StanChart are believed to have duped a few wealthy clients.

According to reports, a few relationship managers at Standard Chartered Bank's private banking business here have mis-sold debt securities to some of its private banking clients with a promise to buy them back at higher returns something which is not possible under the existing regulations.

This comes close on the heels of nearly Rs 460-crore Citi fraud wherein a duplicitous offer of higher returns by one of its relationship manager came to light in December last year at the American bank's Gurgaon branch.

When contacted an official spokesperson of StanChart said the media report had sensationalised the issue and the amount reported was grossly incorrect.

"This is a small matter involving just four clients and we working with them on a quick resolution," he said but declined to give further details.

However, sources in the bank said the issue involves three relationship managers, one of whom has already been shown the door while an internal probe is underway on the other two.

The sources further said that in fact there is no investor who has lost money as they are publicly traded bonds and investors can recover their money by selling them.

On the question of the impact of this incident on the bank's reputation and possible regulatory clamp down on private wealth management banking, the sources said, "this involves only four people and not three employees and a systemic issue."

According to a report, Rs 150-200 crore of such debentures were sold by StanChart's relationship managers to their private banking and wealth management clients, which quoted two people in the wealth management industry.

The multinational Standard Chartered is the largest and oldest foreign bank in the country, and India is the largest profit centre for the bank, according to its latest audited reports.

The report also said that the bank itself funded some of the duped investors of the fake debentures.

Source: Financial Express


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