Friday, January 21, 2011

Banking that I don’t know

Thanks to liquidity crunch, Banks are vying with each other to attract more short term deposit from public by offering higher interest. Like any senior citizen and shrewd investor, I am no different and was in search for a bank offering good but safe return. Let me share some ‘sweet & sour’ experiences during this search.

The other day I walked in to a nearby branch of a bank to collect fixed deposit opening form which is facing the axe of merging with State Bank of India in near future. As the sole employee at the counter was busy and surrounded by many customers, I made my way towards the accountant/officer with the hope of a service with a smile. She was tensed up and upon my asking her the FD form made her more uncomfortable. She looked around for sub staff but no one was around. She asked me to wait and again started looking around. Instead of going herself to fetch the application form, reluctantly she drew the drawer, took out a pink colored form and handed it over to me. On going through the contents, it looked like a pay in slip for depositing cash or cheque (Challan No. 1024 to be precise). I asked her if this was a FD opening form. Without looking at, she confirmed that, it was the application form.

Not satisfied, I took the form to the Manager but he turned out to be the Chief Manager. He too confirmed it to be so. When I pointed out to him that there are no columns to furnish my address, mode of operation, photo, PAN card details and similar numerous information, he simply asked me to furnish on a plain paper if I so desired! Overwhelmed and clean bowled by this knowledge, I thought it better to walk out rather than walk in.

Moved to another bank branch for Industrial sector, not a Nationalized bank but owned by Government of India offering a very attractive and highest returns amongst all other banks. While collecting the FD application form from “May I help you counter”, I doubly ensured from the helping hand that they shall remit the interest to my a/c maintained with some other bank. Next day when I went to submit my duly filled up form, the person at the help counter had changed and informed me that my request for transfer of interest to other bank can not be carried out! The matter again went up to the Manager who suggested me to open a SB a/c with them as interest can not be remitted as per my wish. In short, at the end of my persuasion, they relented to send the interest cheque to my residence.

But this was not the end to my ordeal. On perusal of my application, they found that I had not signed the nomination form. I told them that it is a joint account with the option of ‘payable to either or survivor’ and it is advisable but not mandatory to sign nomination form if the applicant so desires. But nothing doing, I had to relent and sign NIL nomination at the end.

As a banker, one has to take decisions in the interest of the Bank and to be successful in the field risks have to be taken. As is said ‘Boss is the king’, the new gen bankers are no less fussy over trivial matters when it comes to knowledge of systems, procedures and above all common sense.

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  1. Ahhh...I really started hating about banks. These days even I am fighting my bank. Well its a private bank though. I think bank must be made more transparent.

  2. What's wrong with our services sector. It's only going downhill.


  4. I believe some archiac systems are still followed to provide deficient service, anyways there is lot of improvement in the service levels of nationalised banks. As long as our deposits are safe i dont mind such silly inconveniences.

  5. It is quite funny experience you had ,Mr.Ayyangar.I never had such experience.Sorry

  6. It looks like no one is interested in doing their work responsibly which leads to so much chaos. Nice post sir !! :)

  7. Very interesting experience at both he banks.
    I have voted for you as your blog. Vote for me, if you feel so.

  8. Such fuss in creating a FD account!!

  9. I have always had such an experience in Nationalised banks, until recently.

    Now I use Online banking, they even allow creation of FD's online. [Even SBI]. Of-course, the only problem being, that the print of the FD cannot be used directly as a loan/locker guarantee. I have read on the bank site, that on taking it to the branch, one can get a hard
    copy of FD if one desires.

    Another advantage is that I quickly come to know of the maturity dates etc., the FD's are linked to my A/C etc.

    Of course, I use the services of 2 private and 2 Nationalised banks.

    Oops! After typing all this I remembered that SBI does not allow Senior citizens to create FD's online :(
    But you can still use your online login to keep track of Maturity dates of your FD's.

  10. Banking has changed so much that the old technique of knowing the customer is thrown out of the window. Nowerdays they go by your bank balance and familiarity breeds contempt hereto.

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