Expense Account, Mint
So it comes to pass that Aniruddha Bahal (the editor of Cobrapost.com, the online magazine that caught on camera bankers in over 20 banks across the country offering to launder money) is after all not blackmailing the banks. Neither, it seems, was he shorting bank stocks. The banking regulator fined 22 banks a total sum of Rs.49.5 crore earlier this week (you can read the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular here: http: //bit.ly/12FNP9w ), making it a total of Rs.60 crore in fines on the top Indian public and private sector banks, vindicating the Cobrapost sting. Ever since Bahal went public with his first tranche of the sting on three private sector banks in March 2013, the banking industry went overtly into outright denial and hair splitting. The more insidious part of the fightback were stories that ascribed motives to the sting operation and the editor of the online magazine. Having tracked retail banking and the rampant use of branches to mis-sell financial products for many years, I know anecdotally that there is muck at the bottom, but the sting not just brought home proof of mis-selling but showed that the problem went far beyond in a systemic way across the industry.