Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dealing with shirking banks taking cover under black coats !

This was posted by me, today, in LinkedIn under the Group 'Banking, and Finance Technologies":

It was shocking to read the treatment meted out to the Squash champion Dipika Pallikal by the Axis Bank

Though the matter is subjudice , I would like to dwell more on such incidents rather than the specific case. 

Few days back one of my close relative too had this experience of a Nationalised bank rejecting money in ATM (reason "Unauthorised Access"), though she had sufficient balance in the account. The incident was reported and since there was not much help from the HepDesk, it was escalated to the CMD's office and even then the matter was resolved only after three days. 

Ultimately this turned out to be due a process failure within the Computer Dept and the branch, with both blaming each other, in open communications to the customer ! This was for a fairly urgent purpose and since it was a small amount, she could manage without the ATM support. 

There are few things on which I would like to pick the bankers' brains: 

1. What if such a denial happens at a very critical juncture, like one has to pay Hospital for the surgery to proceed on a Saturday night? How will the customer manage & what is banks' responsibility here for having denied payment despite a healthy balance in the account? 

2. The complainant's counsel argument in the above case was "A bank is a custodian of the consumer's money and denying the complainant use of her own money is a clear deficiency in service." He said Bank's argument of Force Majeure (chance occurrence or unavoidable accident) was not sustainable as no unforeseen event, like a power failure or snapping of communication lines, had occurred. The bank's counsel has said " was "a one-off incident" and there was no deficiency on the part of the bank...." 

Having denied the service and putting customer in a soup, the bank's effort to wriggle off as 'one of situation' is really a shocker. 

Understandable that counsels could be engaged to argue in any manner for defence/prosecution and it is their job to make a killer appear like a saint . 

What happened to the moral responsibility of the bank? 

Having said this, the bank also tries to wriggle out by questioning the authority of the honourable court / Forum by saying "...As the incident occurred on foreign soil, the forum did not have the jurisdiction to try the case...", despite the fact an International Debit card was being used !! 

It is highly desirable that such high profiting but mean minded and less customer friendly banks are taught lessons by the court in pulling the highest executive for having the cheek to put those in hot waters, whose only fault was in choosing the bank for parking their investments

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