“The bank has initiated requisite action to recover the balance amount of Rs 171 crore.The matter has also been reported to different law enforcement agencies for action,” the bank said in a stock exchange filing.
On Wednesday, the bank had announced temporary suspension of its Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which has not been operationalised yet. “Our IMPS would be suspended for now. However, NEFT and other transactions would be available. The IMPS facility would be available when the fault is detected,” UCO Bank MD and CEO Ashani Kumar said, without ruling out the possibility of human error or a cyber attack.
Elaborating on the problem, Kumar said that due to some fault, when a sender made a transaction, they received an erroneous message of “transaction declined”. While the money was deducted from the sender’s account it was deposited twice — in the recipient and also the sender’s account.
The bank has blocked those accounts to which funds were wrongly credited. According to Kumar, UCO has also informed all the remitting banks. “The good point is that despite festivals, we could recover most of the money,” he added. Shares of UCO Bank were down 1% on Thursday at Rs 39.4.
Incidentally, IMPS is a real-time interbank electronic funds transfer system that happens straight through without intervention. The account-to-account fund transfer platform is the backbone of UPI. There is a daily transaction limit of Rs 5 lakh under IMPS and transfers are subject to charges between Rs 5 to Rs 15.
UCO Bank had informed exchanges about the problem on Wednesday in two filings. There is no clarity on when IMPS will resume.