New Delhi, July 5: Following the country’s biggest ever banking fraud of Rs 12,646 crore allegedly masterminded by fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi and his associate Mehul Choksi, Punjab National Bank has decided to revamp its lending operations by designating 60 systematically important branches (SIB) to perform lending operations above Rs 50 crore. The 123-year-old PNB has lost more than half its market value ever since the scam started surfacing in late January. Also Read - PNB Board Approves Plan to Raise Rs 10,000 Crore

As a part of this credit restructuring exercise, PNB said in a statement, “To ensure better accountability and operations the bank is shifting most of the borrowal accounts above Rs 50 crore to branches which will be designated Systemically Important Branches (SIBs).” This plan falls under the independent think tank ‘Mission Parivartan’, a strategy to strengthen the bank’s productivity and coordinate all the internal stakeholders. Also Read - PNB Reports Rs 492 Crore Loss For Q3 Owing to Increase in Bad Loan Provisioning

Apart from offering better services to clients, the credit restructuring exercise by PNB has been undertaken to check over large accounts via SIBs. The public sector lender said, “The bank is in the process of shifting most of the large accounts to systematically important branches. Apart from these, most of the bigger accounts will be operated from branches designated as large corporate branches (LCBs), while regular branches will concentrate on regular savings accounts and CASA (current account and savings bank account deposits).” Also Read - PNB Scam Case: UK Court Extends Remand of Nirav Modi, Asks Him to Appear on January 30

The state-run bank has plans to establish centralised loan processing centres to process loans above Rs 50 lakh. The lender said that two to three branches are designated as SIBs for loan processing centers located in metropolitan cities depending upon the geographical convenience. “Contrary to false reports, PNB has no plans to close operations in branches like the Brady House branch in Mumbai,” clarified a senior PNB official adding that,”Reallocation of some of the accounts is part of the restructuring process aimed at centralization of critical functions and large corporate accounts. Retail operations for PNB customers continue to operate from the branches like Brady House.”

(With inputs from IANS)