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Dena Bank readies forensic audit report

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Chennai :  Dena Bank is now monitoring all transactions of over Rs.5 crore online even as the forensic audit of the bank’s Malabar Hill branch in Mumbai, involved in the alleged siphoning off of funds, is expected to be ready soon, said a top official.

“The forensic audit report is expected to be ready. We are now monitoring all online transactions over Rs.5 crore,” Ashwani Kumar, chairman and managing director, told reporters here Saturday.

Queried about internal alerts as each bank branch is subject to audits by outside auditors, he said: “There were no internal alerts.”

Kumar said he was not sure whether such a thing has happened earlier also.

As per filings with the stock exchange, Dena Bank’s Malabar Hill branch in Mumbai received bulk fixed deposits from various entities or government organisations between Jan 30, 2014 and May 05, 2014.

Subsequently, term deposits amounting to Rs.256.69 crore were pledged to the bank by the same signatories to obtain overdraft facilities of Rs.223.25 crore (present outstanding Rs.217.17 crore).

The funds were transferred out of the bank by allegedly creating fake overdraft facility, resulting in a fraud on the bank and the concerned entities and government organisations.

The bank has lodged a complaint in this regard with the CBI.

Dena Bank has made a provision of Rs.54.29 crore during the quarter ended June 30, 2014 and the balance to be provided equally in subsequent three quarters of FY 2014-15.

Queried about the possible impact if the coal block allocations are cancelled by the Supreme Court, Kumar said the bank has lent to nine organisations in steel and power sectors.

The apex court had recently held that the coal block allocations made between 1993 to 2010 were illegal.

Meanwhile, the bank is targeting a business growth of 18 percent provided it gets additional equity of around Rs.1,200 crore. If the bank doesn’t get the equity, then the target growth will be 11 percent, Kumar said.

According to him, the central government holds around 58 percent stake in the bank and if it reduces it by seven percent then preferential issue could be made to raise the needed funds.

Kumar said the bank plans to increase its credit:deposit ratio to 72:28 from the current 70:30.

The 1,646-branch network Dena Bank plans to open another 150-175 branches this year.

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