Red flags in Axis Bank’s insurance play

The bank was pulled up last month over irregular transactions with Max Life, and there remain unasked and unanswered questions over its indirect stake in Niva Bupa.

On 14 October, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India fined Axis Bank Rs 2 crore. The move could dampen the ambitions that CEO Amitabh Chaudhry has for the private sector lender in the insurance sector.

The fine was imposed on two counts:

  • The bank was deemed to have violated norms around calculating the fair market value of Max Life Insurance in a series of share transactions between 2016 and 2021.
  • Making excess gains from these share purchases beyond the permissible cap for a registered corporate agent. 

The insurance regulator also fined Max Life Rs 3 crore.

The insurance …


Furquan Moharkan

Furquan leads the banking coverage at The Morning Context. A business journalist with eight years of experience and a best-selling author, in his earlier stints as a reporter with the Deccan Herald and a columnist at The Banker, he wrote on banking, financial markets and regulatory affairs. He has extensively covered India's debt market crisis, banking crisis and the fall of Yes Bank.

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Ashwin Manikandan

Ashwin covered fintech and banking at The Morning Context. Previously, he was at The Economic Times, where he worked across the finance, tech and startup verticals, breaking stories related to India’s banking system, startups in the new economy, digital payments, insurance and cryptocurrencies.