undefined share price Auditors report


To

The Members of

Bank of Baroda

Report on the Audit of the Standalone Financial Statements

Opinion

1. We have audited the accompanying Standalone Financial Statements of Bank of Baroda (the Bank"), which comprise the Balance Sheet as at 31st March, 2023, the Profit and Loss Account, Cash Flow Statement for the year then ended, and Notes to the Standalone Financial Statements including Significant Accounting Policies and other explanatory information, in which are included the returns for the year ended on that date of the Head office, 18 Zonal offices, 20 branches and 1 Specialized Integrated Treasury Branch audited by us, 2369 domestic branches audited by the respective Statutory Branch Auditors and 30 foreign branches audited by the respective Local Auditors. The branches audited by us and those audited by other auditors have been selected by the Bank in accordance with the guidelines issued to the Bank by the Reserve Bank of India (‘RBI).

Also incorporated in the Balance Sheet, the Profit and Loss Account and the Cash Flow Statement are the returns from 6057 domestic branches (including other accounting units and Centralized Processing Centres) which have not been subjected to audit. These unaudited branches account for 18 % of advances, 39 % of deposits, 14% of interest income and 31 % of interest expenses.

In our opinion and to the best of our information and according to explanations given to us, the aforesaid Standalone Financial Statements give the information required by the Banking Regulation Act 1949 (the "Act"), in the manner so required for the Bank and are in conformity with the accounting principles generally accepted in India and :

a) the Balance Sheet, read with the notes thereon is a full and fair Balance Sheet containing all the necessary particulars, is properly drawn up so as to exhibit a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Bank as at 31st March, 2023;

b) the Profit and Loss Account, read with the notes thereon shows a true balance of profit; and

c) the Cash Flow statement gives a true and fair view of the cash flows for the year ended on that date.

Basis for Opinion

2. We conducted our audit in accordance with the Standards of Auditing ("SAs") issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India ("the ICAI"). Our responsibility under those standards are further described in the Auditors Responsibilities for the Audit of the Standalone Financial Statements section of our

report. We are independent of the Bank in accordance with the Code of Ethics issued by the ICAI together with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the Standalone Financial Statements, prepared in accordance with the accounting principles generally accepted in India, including the applicable Accounting Standard , and provisions of section 29 of Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and circulars and guidelines issued by the RBI from time to time and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements and the Code of Ethics. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Emphasis of Matter

3. We invite attention to the following:

a) Note No. A-13 (h) of Schedule 18 regarding amortization of additional liability on account of revision in family pension amounting to 1454.41 Crores. The Bank has charged an amount of 290.88 Crores to the Profit and Loss Account for the financial year ended 31st March, 2023 and the balance unamortized expense of 872.65 Crores has been carried forward in terms of RBI Circular no. RBI/2021-22/105 DOR.ACC.REC.57/21.04.018/2021- 22 dated October 4, 2021.

b) Note No. A-4 (g) of Schedule 18 relating to deferment of provision of 13.59 Crores pertaining to certain fraud accounts identified during the year ended March 31, 2023 and to be charged to the Profit & Loss Account in the subsequent quarters, in terms of RBI Circular DBR No. BP.BC.92/21.04.048/2015-16 dated April 18, 2016.

Our opinion is not modified in respect of these matters.

Key Audit Matters

4. Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgment, were of most significance in our audit of the standalone financial statements of current period. These matters were addressed in the context of our audit of the standalone financial statements as a whole, and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on these matters. We have determined the matters described below to be the Key Audit Matters of the Bank to be communicated in our report:

I. Classification of Advances, Income Recognition, Identification of and provisioning for non-performing Advances (Refer Schedule 9 read with Note 4 of Schedule 17to the financial statements)

The net advances of the Bank constitute 64.51 percent of the total assets, which is the significant part of the financial statements. They are, inter-alia, governed by income recognition, asset classification and provisioning (IRACP) norms and other circulars and directives issued by the RBI from time to time which provides guidelines related to classification of Advances into performing and non-performing Advances (NPA) except in case of foreign offices in which case the classification of

advances and provisioning thereof is made as per local regulations or RBI guidelines, whichever is more stringent. The Bank classifies these Advances based on IRACP norms as per its accounting policyfollowed.

Identification of performing and non-performing Advances involves establishment of proper mechanism. The Bank accounts for all the transactions related to Advances in its Information Technology System (IT System) viz. Core Banking Solution (CBS) which also identifies whether the advances are performing or nonperforming.

Besides following the prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning relating to Advances issued by the Reserve Bank of India ("RBI"), the Bank also has certain policies for provisioning on non- performing assets.

The carrying value of these advances (net of provisions) may be materially misstated if, either individually or in aggregate, the IRACP norms are not properly followed.

Additionally, the Bank makes provisions on exposures that are not classified as NPA including advances to certain sectors and identified advances or group advances.

Considering the nature of the transactions, regulatory requirements, existing business environment, estimation/judgement involved in valuation of securities and calculation of provisions, it is a matter of high importance for the intended users of the Standalone Financial Statements.

Further due to reliance placed on data submitted by the borrowers & lead bank for Drawing Power calculations, third party for security valuation, computation of provisions as per various guidelines issued by the RBI, computation of diminution in value for restructured advances and recognition of interest income including in non-performing advances, we determined the above area as a Key Audit Matter.

 

Auditors Responses

Principal Audit Procedures

We assessed the Banks system in place to identify and provide for non-performing assets. Our audit approach consisted testing of the design and operating effectiveness of the internal controls and substantive testing including the following :

a) We had obtained understanding from the Bank about the controls built in the system, checks and balances incorporated with respect to adherence to the RBI guidelines and related Banks Policies for identification of non-performing assets, provisioning to determine the nature, timing and extent of the substantive procedures and had accordingly planned our audit procedures.

b) The accuracy of the data input in the system for income recognition, classification into performing and non performing Advances and provisioning in accordance

with the IRACP norms in respect of the top 20 branches allotted to us. In carrying out substantive procedures at the branches allotted to us, we have examined large advances/ stressed advances while other advances have been examined on a sample basis including review of valuation reports of independent valuers as provided bythe Banks management.

c) Existence and effectiveness of monitoring mechanisms such as Internal Audit, Systems Audit, Credit Audit and Concurrent Audit as per the policies and procedures of the Bank.

d) Relied on the returns received from the branches not subject to audit and in that regard reviewed the internal monitoring mechanisms/systems of the Bank to satisfy the correctness of the sample data made available to us and ensured exceptions/deviations/errors noticed during our audit procedures were adequately considered by the Bank.

e) Test checked the identification and provisioning of non-performing assets and corresponding reversal of income, in accordance with RBI Guidelines issued from time to time.

f) Evaluated and tested the management estimates and judgements for the purpose of identification of NPA and adequacy of provision required as per RBIs Prudential norms.

g) Evaluated the effectiveness of automated IT based system of asset classification implemented by the Bank in accordance with the directives of RBI.

h) We have also relied on the work done by the branch auditors for other domestic and foreign branches selected bythe Bank.

i) Ensured exceptions noticed during our audit procedures are duly corrected.

II. Information Technology (IT) and controls impacting financial Reporting

The Banks financial accounting and reporting systems are highly dependent on the effective working of the Core Banking Solution (CBS) and other IT systems linked to the CBS or working independently.

Our areas of focus relate to the logic that is fed into the system, sanctity and reliability of the data, access management and segregation of duties. These underlying principles are important because they ensure that changes to applications and data are appropriate, authorized, cleansed and monitored, so that the system generates accurate and reliable reports/ returns and other financial and non-financial information that is used for the preparation and presentation of the financial statements.

Technology (IT) systems are used in financial reporting process. The Banks operational and financial processes generate extensive volume on daily basis and process varied and complex transactions which

are highly dependent on IT systems. There is a risk that automated accounting procedures and related internal controls may not be accurately designed and operating effectively, hence considered as a key audit matter.

 

Auditors Responses

Principal Audit Procedures

Our audit procedures include assessment and identification of key IT applications, and further verifying, testing and reviewing the design and operating effectiveness of the IT system on the basis of reports /returns and other financial and non-financial information generated from the system on a test check basis. Our audit procedures included:

a) Obtained an understanding of the Banks IT control environment and key changes during the audit period that may be relevant to the audit.

b) Reviewed the design, implementation and operating effectiveness of the Banks IT controls including application, access controls that are critical to financial reporting on test check basis.

c) Where we identified the need to perform additional procedures, we placed reliance on manual compensating controls; such as reconciliations between systems and other information sources or performing additional testing; extended our sample sizes, to obtain adequate and appropriate audit evidence.

d) Reliance on the work performed by the statutory branch auditors and the rectification entries (MOCs) passed based on branch audits.

e) Reliance on external vendor inspection reports wherever made available.

f) Reviewed the IS Audit Reports and discussed with IT Department on compliance with key IT controls.

III. Classification and Valuation of Investments, Identification of and provisioning for Non-Performing Investments (Schedule 8 read with Note 3 of Schedule 17to the financial Statements)

Investments include investments made by the Bank in various Government Securities, Bonds, Debentures, Shares, Security receipts and other approved securities.

Investments constitute 24.85 per cent of the Banks total assets. These are governed by the circulars and directives of the RBI. These directions of RBI, inter- alia, cover valuation of investments, classification of investments, identification of non-performing investments, the corresponding non-recognition of income and provision there against.

The valuation of unquoted investments and thinly traded investments is an area of inherent risk because of market volatility, unavailability of reliable prices and macroeconomic uncertainty.

Accordingly, our audit was focused on valuation of investments, classification, identification of non-

performing investments and provisioning related to investments.

The valuation of each category (type) of the aforesaid securities is to be done as per the method prescribed in circulars and directives issued by the RBI which involves collection of data/information from various sources such as FIBIL rates, rates quoted on BSE/NSE, financial statements of unlisted companies etc.

Considering the complexities and extent of judgment involved in the valuation, volume of transactions, investments on hand and degree of regulatory focus, we determined the above area as a Key Audit Matter.

 

Auditors Responses

Principal Audit Procedures

Our audit approach towards Investments with reference to the RBI Circulars/directives included the understanding of internal controls and substantive audit procedures in relation to valuation, classification, identification of non-performing investments (NPIs), provisioning/depreciation related to Investments.

Our audit procedures with respect to audit of Treasury, focused on -

a) We evaluated and understood the Banks internal control system to comply with relevant RBI guidelines regarding valuation, classification, identification of NPIs, provisioning/depreciation related to investments.

b) For the selected sample of investments in hand, we tested accuracy and compliance with the RBI Master Circulars and directions by re-performing valuation for each category of the security. Samples were selected after ensuring that all the categories of investments (based on nature of security) were covered in the sample.

c) Independently test-checked valuation of unquoted investments, based on the financial statements for the year ended 31st March, 2023 or on the basis of other prescribed procedures in terms ofthe RBI guidelines.

d) We assessed and evaluated the process of identification of NPIs and corresponding reversal of income and creation of provision.

e) We carried out substantive audit procedures to recompute independently the provision to be maintained and depreciation to be provided in accordance with the circulars and directives of the RBI. Accordingly, we selected samples from the investments of each category and tested for NPIs as per the RBI guidelines and recomputed the provision to be maintained in accordance with the RBI Circular for those selected sample of NPIs.

IV. Assessment of Provisions and Contingent liabilities including in respect of certain litigations, various claims filed by other parties not acknowledged as debt (Schedule 12 read with Note 15 of Schedule 17

to the financial statements):

The Bank has disputed claims against it including matters pending at various levels in Tax and non tax matters which are pending at various courts/forums and are at various stages in the judicial process. The management has exercised significant judgement in assessing the possible outflow in such matters.

There is high level of judgement required in estimating the level of provisioning. The Banks assessment is supported by the facts of matter, their own judgment, past experience, and advice from legal and independent tax consultants wherever considered necessary. Accordingly, unexpected adverse outcomes may significantly impact the Banks reported profit and state of affairs presented in the Balance Sheet.

We determined the above area as a Key Audit Matter in view of associated uncertainty relating to the outcome ofthese matters which requires application ofjudgment in interpretation of law. Accordingly, our audit was focused on analysing the facts of subject matter under consideration and judgments/ interpretation of law involved.

 

Auditors Responses

Principal Audit Procedures

a) We have evaluated the appropriateness of the design and tested the operating effectiveness of the managements controls over the tax litigation matters.

b) We reviewed the managements underlying assumptions in estimating the possible outflow and the possible outcome of the disputes. The legal precedence and other rulings were considered in evaluating managements position on these uncertain tax /non tax positions.

c) Further we have relied upon the management judgements, industry level deliberations and estimates for possible outflow and opinion of internal experts of the Bank in relations to such disputed tax positions.

d) Read and analysed select key correspondences, internal/external legal opinions / consultations by management for key disputed non tax matters.

e) Reviewed and verified other legal pronouncements wherever available in similar matters in the case of the Bank/other corporate.

f) Discussed with appropriate senior management and evaluated managements underlying key assumptions in estimating the provisions.

g) Assessed managements estimate of the possible outcome of the disputed non tax cases and relied on the management judgments in such cases.

h) Reliance on the work performed by the statutory branch auditors and the rectification entries passed based on branch audits/additional information to the extent available at Head office.

5. Other Matters

a) We did not audit the financial Statements/financial information of 2369 domestic branches and 30 foreign branches whose financial statements reflects total Assets of 545776 Crores and total revenue of 33642 Crores for the year ended on that date, as considered in the standalone financial statements. These branches cover 47% of total advances, 57 % of total deposits and 58% of Non-Performing assets as at 31st March, 2023 and 32% of revenue for the year ended on 31st March, 2023. The financial statements/information of these branches have been audited by the Banks Statutory Branch Auditors whose reports have been furnished to us, and in our opinion in so far as it relates to the amounts and disclosures included in respect of branches, is based solely on the reports of such branch auditors.

b) The Standalone Financial statements of the Bank for the previous year ended 31st March, 2022 were audited by the joint central statutory auditors, two of which are predecessor audit firms and have expressed unmodified opinion on such financial statements vide their report dated 31st May, 2022.

Our opinion is not modified in respect of above matters.

Information Other than the Standalone Financial

Statements and Auditors Report thereon

6. The Banks Board of Directors is responsible for the preparation of the other information. The other information comprises the Corporate Governance report (but does not include the Standalone Financial Statements and our auditors report thereon) which we obtained at the time of issue of this auditors report and Directors Report, Key Financial Indicators and Shareholders Information, which is expected to be made available to us after that date.

Our opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and Pillar 3 disclosure under the Basel III Disclosure and we do not and will not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon.

In connection with our audit of the Standalone Financial Statements, our responsibility is to read the other information identified above and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the Standalone Financial Statements or our knowledge obtained in the audit, or otherwise appears to be materially misstated.

If, based on the work we have performed on the other information that we obtained prior to the date of this auditors report, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report in this regard.

When we read the Directors Report, Key Financial Indicators and Shareholders Information, if we conclude that there is a material misstatement therein, we are required to communicate the matter to those charged with governance.

Responsibilities of Management and Those Charged with

Governance for the Standalone Financial Statements

7. The Banks Board of Directors is responsible with respect to the preparation of these Standalone Financial Statements that give a true and fair view of the financial position, financial performance and cash flow of the Bank in accordance with the accounting principles generally accepted in India including the applicable Accounting Standards, provisions of Section 29 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and the circulars and guidelines issued by RBI from time to time. This responsibility also includes maintenance of adequate accounting records in accordance with the provisions of the Act for safeguarding of the assets of the Bank and for preventing and detecting frauds and other irregularities; selection and application of appropriate accounting policies; making judgements and estimate that are reasonable and prudent; and design, implementation and maintenance of adequate internal financial controls, that were operating effectively for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, relevant to the preparation and presentation of the Standalone financial statements that give true and fair view and are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the standalone financial statements, the Board of Directors is responsible for assessing the Banks ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless Board of Directors either intends to liquidate the Bank or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so. The Board of Directors are also responsible for overseeing the Banks financial reporting process.

Auditors Responsibilities for the Audit of the Standalone

Financial Statements

8. Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the standalone financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditors report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with SAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these standalone financial statements.

As part of an audit in accordance with SAs, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional scepticism throughout the audit. We also:

• Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the standalone financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence

that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.

• Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances.

• Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.

• Conclude on the appropriateness of managements use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Banks ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditors report to the related disclosures in the standalone financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditors report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Bank to cease to continue as a going concern.

• Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.

Materiality is the magnitude of misstatements in the Standalone Financial Statements that, individually or in aggregate, makes it probable that the economic decisions of a reasonably knowledgeable user of the Standalone Financial Statements may be influenced. We consider quantitative materiality and qualitative factors in (i) planning the scope of our audit work and in evaluating the results of our work; and (ii) to evaluate the effect of any identified misstatements in the Standalone Financial Statements.

We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.

We also provide those charged with governance with a statement that we have complied with relevant ethical requirements regarding independence, and to communicate with them all relationships and other matters that may reasonably be thought to bear on our independence, and where applicable, related safeguards.

From the matters communicated with those charged with governance, we determine those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the standalone financial statements of the current period and are therefore the key audit matters. We describe these matters in our auditors report unless law

or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, we determine that a matter should not be communicated in our report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication.

Report on other Legal and Regulatory Requirements

9. The Balance Sheet and the Profit and Loss account have been drawn up in accordance with the provisions of Section 29 ofthe Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

10. Subject to the limitations of the audit indicated in paragraph 5,7 to 8 above and as required by the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970/1980, and subject also to the limitations of disclosure required therein, we report that:

a) We have obtained all the information and explanations which to the best of our knowledge and belief, were necessary for the purposes of our audit and have found them to be satisfactory;

b) The transactions of the Bank, which have come to our notice, have been within the powers of the Bank and

c) The returns received from the offices and branches of the Bank have been found adequate for the purposes of our audit.

11. We further report that:

a) In our opinion, proper books of account as required by law have been kept by the Bank so far as it appears from our examination of those books and proper returns adequate for the purposes of our audit have been received from branches not visited by us;

b) The Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss account and Cash flow statement dealt with by this report are in agreement with the books of account and with the returns received from branches not visited by us;

c) The reports on the accounts ofthe branch offices audited by branch auditors of the Bank as per the provisions

of section 29 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 have been sent to us and have been properly dealt with by us in preparing this report; and

d) in our opinion, the Balance Sheet, the Profit and Loss Account and the Cash Flow Statement comply with the applicable accounting standards, to the extent they are not inconsistentwith the accounting policies prescribed by the RBI.

12. As required by letter no. DOS.ARG. No.6270 /08.91.001/2019-20 dated 17th March, 2020 on "Appointment of Statutory Central Auditors (SCAs) in Public Sector Banks-Reporting obligations for SCAs from 2019-20", read with subsequent communication dated 19th May, 2020 issued by RBI, we further report on the matters specified in paragraph 2 of the aforesaid letter as under:

a) In our opinion, the aforesaid Standalone Financial Statements comply with the applicable accounting standards, to the extent they are not inconsistent with the accounting policies prescribed by RBI;

b) There are no observations or comments on financial transactions or matters which have any adverse effect on the functioning of the bank.

c) As the bank is not registered under the Companies Act, 2013, the disqualifications from being a director of the bank under sub-section (2) of Section 164 of the Companies Act, 2013 do not applyto the bank.

d) There are no qualification, reservation or adverse remarks relating to the maintenance of accounts and other matters connected therewith.

e) Our Audit report on the adequacy and operating effectiveness of the Banks internal financial controls with reference to financial statements is given in Annexure ‘A to this report. Our report expresses an unmodified opinion on the Bankss operating effectiveness of internal financial controls with reference to financial statements as at 31st March, 2023.

ANNEXURE ‘A TO THE INDEPENDENT AUDITORS REPORT

(Referred to in paragraph 12(e) under "Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements" of our report of even date)

Report on the Internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements as required by the Reserve Bank of India (the "RBI") Letter no. DOS.ARG.No.6270/08.91.001/2019-20 dated 17th March, 2020 (as amended) (the "RBI communication")

We have audited the internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements of Bank of Baroda (the "Bank") as of 31st March, 2023 in conjunction with our audit of the standalone financial statements of the Bank for the year ended on that date which includes internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements of the Banks branches.

Managements Responsibilityfor Internal Financial Controls

The Banks management is responsible for establishing and maintaining internal financial controls based on "the internal control over financial reporting criteria established by the Bank considering the essential components of internal control stated in the Guidance Note on Audit of Internal Financial Controls over Financial Reporting issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India". These responsibilities include the design, implementation and maintenance of adequate internal financial controls that were operating effectively for ensuring the orderly and efficient conduct of its business, including adherence to the Banks policies, the safeguarding of its assets, the prevention and detection of frauds and errors, the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, and the timely preparation of reliable financial information, as required under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and the circulars and guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

Auditors Responsibility

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Banks internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with the Guidance Note on Audit of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting (the "Guidance Note") issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (the "ICAI") and the Standards on Auditing (SAs) issued by the ICAI, to the extent applicable to an audit of internal financial controls. Those Standards and the Guidance Note require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether adequate internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements were established and maintained and if such controls operated effectively in all material respects.

Our audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the adequacy of the internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements and their operating effectiveness. Our audit of internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements included obtaining an understanding of internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements , assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal financial controls based on the assessed risk. The procedures selected depend on the auditors judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained and the audit evidence obtained by the branch auditors, in terms of their reports referred to in the Other Matters paragraph below, is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion on the Banks internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements.

Meaning of Internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements

A Banks internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A Banks internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the Bank; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the Bank are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the Bank; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the Banks assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Inherent Limitations of Internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements

Because of the inherent limitations of internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements, including the possibility of collusion or improper management override of controls, material misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected. Also, projections of any evaluation of the internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements to future periods are subject to the risk that the internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

Opinion

In our opinion, and to the best of our information and according to the explanations given to us and based on the consideration of the reports of the branch auditors referred to in the Other Matters paragraph below, the Bank has, in all material respects, adequate internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements and such internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements were operating effectively as at 31st March, 2023, based on "the criteria for internal control over financial reporting established by the Bank considering the essential components of internal control stated in the Guidance Note on Audit of Internal Financial Controls Over Financial Reporting issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India".

Other Matters

Our aforesaid report in so far as it relates to the operating effectiveness of internal financial controls with reference to Financial Statements of 2399 branches is based on the corresponding reports of the respective branch auditors of those branches.

Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.