PNB Reports Rs 3689 Cr Exposure to DHFL as Fraud

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Government-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) has reported a fraud of Rs 3,688.58 crore in the non-performing asset (NPA) account of non-banking financial company Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL) which is in bankruptcy proceedings.

DHFL had accumulated total debts of almost Rs 1 lakh crore and failed to honour dues to its creditors. PNB said the fraud in NPA account of DHFL at a large corporate branch in Mumbai was reported to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

According to RBI rules, once an account is declared a fraud, banks need to set aside 100 per cent of the outstanding loans as provisions either in one go or over four quarters.

“The bank has already made provisions amounting to Rs 1,246.58 crore as per prescribed prudential norms,” it said in regulatory filings at stock exchanges late on Thursday after market closing hours.

In 2018, PNB was hit by Rs 11,300-crore fraud involving billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi. Last year in July, it reported a borrowing fraud of Rs 3,805 crore in Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd’s account.

In November last year, the RBI had superseded DHFL’s board and later referred the mortgage lender to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

DHFL is the first non-banking lender to be referred to NCLT under the new rules notified by the government. Its erstwhile promoter Kapil Wadhawan is alleged to have been instrumental in laundering huge sums of money as part of an illegal deal with gangster Iqbal Mirchi.

At 11 am, PNB stock was trading 5 per cent lower at Rs 35.25 per unit.

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