Since demonetisation, apart from being busy with customers wanting to withdraw or exchange notes, Axis Bank employees have been busy with the tax officials and police officers. In one raid after another, authorities have discovered numerous dubious dealings by the bank, such as:
- 25th November: Taxmen scrutinized documents and interrogated a few officials at the Kashmere Gate branch in Delhi after two people carrying Rs. 3.5 crores were intercepted by the police.
- 5th December: Two bank managers were arrested after 3 Kg gold was found in their possession. The ED found that huge amounts were transferred via RTGS to some shell companies including a company where the Director of such a firm was a “petty labourer”.
- 9th December: Officials in a raid at its Chandni Chowk branch found 44 fake accounts where over 100 crores rupees were deposited.
- 15th December: In a raid at a branch in Noida, officials found over 60 crores rupees deposited in 20 fake accounts.
Apart from all this, what didn’t help matters was a rumour spreading about the possibility of Axis Bank’s licence getting revoked. There were reports linking the Aam Aadmi party to the bank for receiving dubious donations. Add to all this, it was found out that the bank also had its security breached in a cyber attack this October.
Axis Bank, though, is no stranger to financial wrongdoings or controversies. For example:
- In 2013, Axis Bank along with banks like ICICI, HDFC was named in a sting operation as being a co-conspirator in a nationwide money laundering exercise. In the aftermath of the expose, the RBI had fined the bank for violating customer identification and anti-money laundering norms.
- In 2015, a forex scam to the tune of Rs 500 crores was uncovered at Axis Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce. The man in question Manish Jain used to send money to Hong Kong in HSBC Bank and further to China. The money was remitted out of India illegally against the imports that actually never took place. He reportedly had 77 accounts in OBC and 10 in Axis Bank.
With such a coloured history peppered with the latest reports, the bank has received a lot of flak, especially on Twitter, in recent days:
Some pointed out that the latest round of controversy could be the bank’s biggest PR disaster:
This is doing as much damage to the Axis Bank brand as that Galaxy Note-whatever’s battery to Samsung. Need to hear more from top management https://t.co/cPqsX9PEn2
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) December 15, 2016
Some expressed outrage:
Let’s boycott @AxisBank for this rampant corruption. I’m closing both my current and savings account with them. You should too.
— चार लोग (@WoCharLog) December 15, 2016
With so many scams emanating from the Bank, many remembered the days of the UPA:
Axis Bank must’ve Congress roots https://t.co/e2XXoZ3QEt
— Azam Khan’s Buffalo (@jenaanindya) December 15, 2016
Some guessed how the bank must have been hiring its managers:
*Axis Bank interview for manager*
Putai wala Hun
“matlab sab white kar deta hai? Selected”
— Maithun Legion (@Being_Humor) December 9, 2016
Some imagined the banking experience:
Axis Bank become so corrupt, if you fill a form for open an a/c, the song ” golmaal h bhai sab golmaal h” plays in background.
— Sunil- The Cricketer (@1sInto2s) December 15, 2016
This might appear as real news, but it’s from a satirical news handle:
Axis Bank likely to open its new branch in Tihar jail. – Sources pic.twitter.com/yOdd13ra3v
— NEWS OUR (@News_Our) December 9, 2016
There was a suggestion for the government:
Government of India should introduce a Black Money Declaration Scheme just for Axis Bank
— The UnReal Times (@TheUnRealTimes) December 15, 2016
And a suggestion for media houses too:
They should make a template to save time “IT deptt raids Axis Bank ________ Branch, recovers _____ fake accounts with ______crores deposited pic.twitter.com/S0hoUArTFd
— The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) December 15, 2016
Realizing that the events had adversely impacted the image of the bank, finally Axis Bank came up with a statement:
The Bank has also taken the unprecedented step of temporarily suspending some of these accounts under question: Axis Bank #Demonitization
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 15, 2016
However, away from all this outrage and ridicule, the share price of Axis Bank has only witnessed upward growth in the recent days:
If you can decode the relationship between share prices and the controversy, let us know in the comments section!