India cenbank bars Bank of Baroda from adding customers to mobile app

MUMBAI (Reuters) -The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday stopped state-run Bank of Baroda from adding customers to its mobile app, citing “certain material supervisory concerns”.

The bank will be allowed to do further onboarding of customers to its bob World app only after rectifying certain deficiencies, the central bank said, without giving any details about the issues.

The RBI’s move comes after news agency Al Jazeera reported in July, citing whistleblowers, that Bank of Baroda had linked mobile numbers of strangers to boost registrations on the application, compromising security.

Reuters has not independently verified these claims, which the bank had denied at the time.

The RBI has also asked the bank to ensure that existing customers on its mobile app do not face any disruption due to the suspension.

“We have initiated further steps to plug any remaining gaps identified and we will work closely with the RBI to address their concerns at the earliest,” Bank of Baroda said in a late night filing.

The lender added that existing customers will not face any disruption, with no material impact on its overall business and growth plans.

With mobile banking gaining popularity, the central bank has been pushing lenders to adopt efficient customer service standards.

(Reporting by Siddhi Nayak in Mumbai and Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami and Anil D’Silva)