MUMBAI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - India's Axis Bank on Monday slammed a regional newspaper report stating authorities were preparing to revoke the bank's licence as "false and malafide", saying it had strong systems and controls in place as per central bank rules.
Axis, India's third-biggest private sector bank, said last week it had suspended some 19 employees over alleged breaches at one of its branches in implementing a government-ordered exchange of high-value bank notes.
The statement by Axis was in response to a report on Saturday in local Hindi daily Dopahar that suggested the bank could lose its licence over alleged money laundering activities involving the suspended employees.
"We firmly believe that said news is intended to spread panic amongst the general public, demoralise the staff and damage the reputation of the bank," the lender said in a stock exchange filing.
Shares in Axis Bank were down 2.5 percent at 445 rupees a share in afternoon trading on the National Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Euan Rocha and Tom Hogue)