Bank of India, said that it has closed down its operations of a representative office in Yangoon (Myanmar) from mid-January, reports from PTI.
"The Ministry of Planning and Finance, Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, Myanmar has allowed to terminate/close our Yangoon Representative Office (Myanmar) with effect from January 19, 2018," the bank said in a regulatory filing.
Public sector banks (PSBs), were asked to examine all their 216 overseas operations as part of clean and responsible banking initiative, as per the agenda approved in the Manthan programme in November last year. As many as 35 overseas branches of state-owned banks are said to have been closed down since.
The closing down of overseas operations assumes significance in the backdrop of jeweler Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems misused the foreign office facility nearly to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore fraud at PNB by presenting fake Letters of Undertakings (LOUs) to overseas banks.
Apart from Yangoon, Bank of India is also believed to have closed down office in Botswana. Besides, Bank of Baroda and Indian Overseas Bank have shut their Hong Kong branch.
"PSBs to consolidate 35 overseas operations without affecting the international presence of PSBs in these countries," Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar had earlier said. He also informed about the identification of 69 operations for further examination as a move towards cost efficiencies and synergies in overseas markets.
Expressing government's commitment to 'clean and responsible banking', Kumar had said that the overseas operations of the state-owned banks will be rationalized.
Kumar further said that: "All 216 PSB operations to be examined. Non-viable operations in overseas market to be closed for cost efficiency and synergy. Operations in some geography to be consolidated. Consolidate equity stake in joint ventures having multiple PSB partners".