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.
In another development, the telecom ministry has said that only 15 new licences are liable for cancellation due to delayed roll out of network compared to 69 recommended by the TRAI and has thus sought regulator's views on the same
New Delhi: Tightening the noose around DMK leader Ms Kanimozhi in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, the CBI on Monday questioned a Malaysia-based NRI and a chartered accountant-considered close to former Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi's family-just days ahead of an expected decision on her bail application, reports PTI.
Malaysia-based Mr Sarvanan and chartered accountant Mr Ratnam were questioned for nearly six hours by the officials about the deal related to a plot of land in Chennai which was estimated to be worth Rs200 crore but was sold at Rs25 crore to a business man from Malaysia, agency sources said.
They claimed Mr Sarvanan was a key player in the deal of the 53,000 square feet plot located on the Anna Malai road in Chennai which was taken on lease by a big industrial house for nearly 30 years till 2005. The industrial house has filed a suit in the Madras High Court for renewing the lease.
Mr Sarvanan allegedly managed to get the power of attorney for the plot from the owners and sold it to a private company at Rs25 crore in 2009, days before the general elections.
The agency is probing whether the land deal at one-eighth the estimated market price through Mr Sarvanan, who has interests in real-estate business, was a way to camouflage the alleged bribe money from spectrum allocation to telecom firms, the sources said.
The bail applications of DMK MP and former Tamil Nadu chief minister Karunanidhi's daughter Ms Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar, named as accused in the CBI charge-sheet, are pending before a special CBI court here which is likely to pronounce its decision on 20th May.
The court has to decide the fate of Mr Kanimozhi who has been accused of taking Rs200 crore bribe for Kalaignar TV from Shahid Usman Balwa's firm DB Realty.
The CBI has accused her of conspiring with former Union telecom minister A Raja. She has also been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act for taking bribe through Kalaignar TV-a channel run by the DMK-in which the bribe of the 2G scam was routed.
Meanwhile, the telecom ministry has said that only 15 new licences are liable for cancellation due to delayed roll out of network compared to 69 recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and has thus sought regulator's views on the same.
Earlier, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had identified 17 cases fit for sending notices for cancellation of licences on account of delay in network rollout. Last year, TRAI had had recommended to the DoT to cancel 69 telecom licences of five operators, including joint ventures of Telenor-Unitech, Etisalat-Swan and Sistema-Shyam.
The cancellations pertain to licences issued in 2007-08 by former telecom minister A Raja, who was sacked last year when his ministry was accused of selling licences and spectrum cheaply, possibly costing the government billions of dollars in revenue.