On 28 April 2011, Standard Chartered Bank published a half-page advertisement on the front page of The Economic Times, bragging that "our global guiding principles and ethical banking practices influence everything we do".
Two days later, The Economic Times, reported "Rich Clients Allege Foul Play by StanC". The newspaper said in the report, which was published at the top of the front page of the edition on 30 April 2011, that private banking customers had accused the bank of selling debentures with a buyback option, but later backed out of the deal.
ET StanChart report
Standard Chartered, the foreign bank with the largest presence in India, sold about Rs150 crore-Rs200 crore of debt securities to private banking clients, who were attracted by the buyback option and high returns. The buyback option is apparently not allowed under current regulations.
Responding to a query by The Economic Times, a spokesperson of the British bank acknowledged there was a problem, but described the estimates of Rs150 crore-Rs200 crore as a "gross exaggeration". 'Can a bank balance its ambition with its conscience?' Read and decide yourself.