10 days leave must for bank staff in ”sensitive areas” , says RBI. To rein in frauds

RBI Building, New Delh

Mumbai , July 10 ,2021: All those working in ‘’sensitive ‘’ departments of a bank must be given 10 days’ leave in a row, the Reserve Bank of India has given such instructions to the banks. The RBI, which is the banking regulator has done so in the backdrop of several bank frauds where the sensitive departments were manned by people of doubtful integrity for years together, allowing the irregularities to continue without detection.

The RBI circular, aimed at correcting this problem states as follows:  

”As a prudent operational risk management measure, the banks shall put in place a ‘mandatory leave’ policy wherein the employees posted in sensitive positions or areas of operation shall be compulsorily sent on leave for a few days (not less than 10 working days) in a single spell every year, without giving any prior intimation to these employees, thereby maintaining an element of surprise.

2. Banks shall ensure that the employees, while on ‘mandatory leave’, do not have access to any physical or virtual resources related to their work responsibilities, with the exception of internal/ corporate email which is usually available to all employees for general purposes.

3. Banks shall, as per a Board-approved policy, prepare a list of sensitive positions to be covered under ‘mandatory leave’ requirements and the list shall be reviewed periodically. Implementation of this policy shall be reviewed under the supervisory process.

4. The revised instructions shall be applicable to all the banks and they shall comply with these instructions within six months from the date of issue of this circular. ”

The circular was issued on July 9,2021.

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