Axis-Bank-suspends-accounts-of-bullion-dealers-jewelers

Axis Bank suspends accounts of bullion dealers, jewelers

Axis Bank Ltd, India’s top importer of gold, has suspended the bank accounts of some bullion dealers and jewellers after two of its executives at a branch were arrested over alleged money laundering. The move is likely to curtail imports by the world’s second-biggest gold consumer this month and could weigh on global prices already near their lowest level in ten months.

“We have temporarily suspended transactions in a few current accounts as a part of a larger enhanced due diligence exercise being conducted on transactions post-demonetisation,” the bank said in an e-mailed reply to questions from Reuters. Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped `500 and `1,000 banknotes on November 8 in a bid to flush out cash earned through illegal activities, or earned legally but never disclosed to tax authorities.

The bank said the suspended gold dealers’ accounts will be restored over the next few days after an “enhanced due diligence process”. A Chennai-based bullion dealer, who declined to be named, said the bank had frozen his account without giving a reason. Half a dozen other dealers in Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmadabad and New Delhi also confirmed the freezing of their Axis accounts.

Courtesy: The Hindu Businessline