Imperative of revisiting the operational risk control architecture in public sector banks (PSBs) in India: a qualitative analysis

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The banking sector in India has contributed to economic growth, parity and equity while equally keeping focus on profit and social objectives. The successive prudential and regulatory reforms introduced in the banking sector have made it more robust and stronger to withstand the bubbles and external shocks. Still, the Indian banking sector in general and public-sector banks (PSBs) in particular have been suffering from the bank frauds. This study endeavors to cover the increasing incidences of banking frauds in PSBs and probes the weaknesses and chinks in the operational risk architecture at the PSBs in India. This study selects Punjab National Bank as a true representative of PSBs and treats it as a critical case study to apply the learning and findings to the PSBs in India. This qualitative analysis of the study revealed that the chinks in the operational risk control mechanism and lax corporate governance are the main reasons behind the increasing incidences of frauds at PSBs. The findings of the study showed that a strong corporate governance and compliance framework, robust risk management architecture, investment in people, technology and systems will go a long way in achieving tighter control and supervision, streamlining processes and, most of all, adhering to a culture of checks and balances.

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    • Figure 1. Fraud triangle theory
    • Figure 2. Number of frauds and amount involved in banking frauds in India
    • Table 1. 5W2H qualitative analysis of operational risk management in public sector banks in India with reference to the Punjab National Bank (PNB)