HDFC, ICICI and Axis probe possible money laundering

The top three private sector banks, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank, have initiated detailed investigations into possible facilitation of money laundering by over-enthusiastic officials to fill banks' deposit vaults.

HDFC Bank has appointed accounting and audit firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India to carry out an independent forensic enquiry into allegations even as ICICI bank suspended 18 officials suspected to have facilitated money-laundering activities.

Axis Bank too has asked 16 officials to report to the administrative offices, pending investigation into the allegations of money laundering.

HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank are alleged to have facilitated money laundering both within the country and outside.

HDFC Bank has also appointed Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co to examine whether any of its officials had breached the bank's code of conduct and ethical standards.

"The bank is committed to the highest standards of compliance, corporate governance and ethics, and has in place systems and procedures to ensure that its business is conducted in compliance with laws and regulations," the bank said in a statement.