The State Bank of India is one of the largest and most trusted banks in India, with branches spread across the country. However, a recent incident has brought the bank’s reputation into question. The cash officer and accountant at the Jagatsinghpur branch of the State Bank of India are being investigated for unlawfully exchanging currency denominations worth Rs 22 lakh with a trader.
Sources have revealed that the currency chest at SBI, Jagatsinghpur, stores new notes from the RBI and circulates them to other branches. As per RBI (Note Refund) Rules, 2009, no bank can refuse to exchange any damaged, mutilated, taped, or torn bank notes. However, local businessmen who have accounts at the SBI branch alleged that the cash officer and accountant at the branch exchanged denominations of Rs 500 for Rs 20 notes, amounting to Rs 22 lakh, which is against RBI rules.
The local businessmen also alleged that the SBI staff exchanged denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 of the trader and supplied him notes of Rs 20 and Rs 10 for Rs 22 lakh. They further alleged that the SBI staff received a 2-3% commission from the trader for the purpose.
Acting on a tip-off, the Biridi police detained the trader’s car and seized Rs 22 lakh from him on Saturday night. During interrogation, the trader confessed to exchanging currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 for Rs 20 notes, amounting to Rs 22 lakh, from the SBI Jagatsinghpur branch. The cash officer and accountant of the SBI branch also confessed to the deal.
“The bank staff reportedly received 2-3 per cent commission from the trader for the purpose,” alleged the local businessmen who have accounts at the SBI branch.
The chief branch manager of SBI, Jagatsinghpur branch, Susant Kumar Adhikari, stated that legal action would be taken against the staff if found guilty. “Without my knowledge, the cash officer and accountant exchanged currency denominations worth Rs 22 lakh. Though there is no such RBI guideline citing the amount to be exchanged, it is illegal to provide denominations of Rs 20 in exchange for Rs 500 currency notes worth Rs 22 lakh. If these two officers are found guilty, legal action will be taken against them,” said Adhikari.
The police are currently investigating the matter and have asked the owner of the currency to provide proof of collecting such a large sum. No case has been registered yet. Sub-divisional police officer Ramesh Chandra Singh stated that investigation is underway, and action would be taken against the trader accordingly.
This incident highlights the importance of adhering to RBI rules and regulations to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. The public trusts banks to maintain their money’s security, and any wrongdoing can severely damage the bank’s reputation. It is essential for banks to ensure transparency and accountability in their operations to maintain their customers’ trust.