Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The great Indian Bank drama

Indian PSU Banks represent public money. They were formed by the Government of India and Nationalised because in that era it was considered that this is a service to common man in the form of accounts and also giving credit facilities to the trade and industry.

But let us see what Banks today are doing.

I have a savings account in Syndicate Bank Malad west Branch. I always asked for 10 cheque leafs. This time I was given 25 leafs. But my account was debited with Rs.120.00 as cheque book charges. I asked the manager as to how it was debited and he told me that in case you apply for more than 50 cheque leafs in a year we debit your account by Rs.6.00 per leaf ( more than even a current account). I asked him then 6*25 = 150.00 must have been debited and the answer was that it is the software which debits the accounts and not they and the software is always correct.
In last one year I have closed one current account and the Bank debited Rs.500.00 for closure. They debited my accounts with Rs.10.00 per savings account and the reason given was that now you are insured for accidental death of upto Rs.1.00 lacs ( my consent is not necesary and it is the Bank who decides who needs insurance and how much). Bank must have earned in croires by debiting crores of accounst with Rs.10.00 each.

The saving account minimum balance was enhanced to Rs.1000.00 from Rs.500.00 and since I did not go to the Bank I did not know it and by the time I realised the entire family was made to coughout Rs.1,000.00 in just 2 months.

I asked the Bank to open a Escrow Account wherein I can keep the fees which I have recieved but for which I have not completed their work and the Bank said please go to USA to open such accounts. The answer was rude and as if I am a beggar and he is the owner of the Bank.
This clearly shows that Banks have adopted an attitude to harrass customers as they know that now customers are not used to cash transactions as earlier.

The moral of the story is that the government is fooling the common man and these Banks make money only by duping customers and hence are in profits.

For me the Banking needs to be simplified. There is no need of saving and current account bifurcation and the account must be just a Bank Account with no minimum balance. For Transfer from Bank to Bank ( online If I pay directly to the Account of another person in another Bank), there must not be any transaction charges as the clearing exercise is stopped. ATM and Debit Crads must be free and encouraged. The cheque book charges must be Rs.3.00 per leaf and there must not be any charges for folio etc. No interest must be paid on accounts and there must be option to put money in FD or may be by standing instructions.
The Account No. must be my unique ID NO. and the bank code and branch code must be prefixed. This will make I.T. capable of tracking my accounts and also there must be a ristriction on no. of accounts a person can maintain, may be for individuals just 3.
For lending I will put details next time. I am just waiting to see a simple life without knots of complications and where the productivity of a person is real and not artifical, as is perdominant now. For more Banking reforms I will put in more details next time.


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