MUMBAI, March 18 (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of India said on Monday it has started a probe into allegations of money laundering at the country’s top private sector banks, ICICI Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd .
A final report on the three banks will be completed by March 31, and “thereafter further course of action as necessary will be initiated”, the central bank said in a statement.
The RBI said it is also examining banks that sell gold coins and wealth management products to identify “systemic issues” with that activity, with a view to closing any legal loopholes that may exist.
The move comes after an independent investigative journalist said last week he had video evidence of alleged money laundering at ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank branches across India. The report on Thursday hit the banks’ shares. (Reporting by Neha Dasgupta and Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Catherine Evans/Ruth Pitchford)