Shame on Indian banks

BankWhen it comes to banks, there are two main issues. NPA’s, scams and frauds can be clubbed together as one issue. Second is harassment of genuine customers. We Indians are very patient and tolerate inefficiency, bureaucracy and arrogance. Very few banks understand the meaning of service. Or even basic politeness. All of us have suffered at the hands of insensitive bank officials, and today’s case is about an 83 year old woman who is being harassed by Punjab National Bank. The same bank involved in the Nirav Modi case. Apparently, they have become very “strict” after the Nirav Modi case. So the more scams banks face, the greater the harassment the customers have to face?

My 88 year old mother in law has personally suffered at the hands of a State Bank employee who took a long lunch break (20 minutes over and above) and then refused to go by the token queue because our requirement would have taken a longer time, which would have reduced her “efficiency” which the bank was measuring by how fast she was disposing of the tokens! My 88 year old mother-in-law who was forced to wait for over an hour, although if the bank employee had gone by the token queue we would have finished in 20 minutes!

Well, it is not just public sector banks involved in bad business practices. NPA’s, scams, frauds and lack of customer orientation, unless it is about forcing people to buy the bank’s products.

Private banks are equally culpable! If these private banks were laughing at the public sector banks, they are laughing no more. ICICI and HDFC are no less guilty. HDFC is known to have arrogant staff, and it looks like they are equally susceptible to frauds.

When it comes to frauds, in FY17 there were 12,533 incidents of frauds in FY17 – frauds worth Rs 18,170 crore in FY17. These were the findings of “proxy advisory firm Institutional Investors Advisory Services (IiAS”).

Such high rate of frauds can be attributed to weak internal controls, which could irreparably dent bank balance sheets. Though banks pay high audit fees, it is not leading to lower frauds. This means the overall audit quality needs to be improved,

The so-called rules, regulations and systems of the banks are often used to harass genuine customers. It’s the babu mentality. After all, the real fraudsters slip through! Either because of fake documentation (fraudsters always have all the right documents!), corrupt employees or sheer inefficiency and ineptness of the banks, and their auditors.

This is our money which is being stolen. Let me repeat, the banks are stealing our money, and they are harassing us! The ordinary, law abiding customers!

What is the RBI doing about it? Why do we keep hearing of bank scam after bank scam? From Nirav Modi to Deepak Kochhar? And why is the RBI not laying down rules on how to treat customers? After all, it the money of law abiding people like us that the banks are stealing, or loaning to the scamsters!

One Comment Add yours

  1. marcus says:

    Indians do not seem to understand that bad economic policies drive poverty in India. The recent Congress conclave stated that they would resume their statist economic policy if reelected…the same one that has caused 650 million Indians to live on a dollar a day. Politicians seem to move from one political party to another without any regard for ideology. Its only when Indian voters demand superior economic policies like what all rich countries do will India prosper. Thats not likely in the near future.

    Let us assume that with great economic policies India can grow at 8% indefinitely. Then with todays per capita of around $1000, you would reach $2000 in 9 years and $4000 in 18! That is to say with great policies India would move from being dirt poor to being merely poor….18 years from now! Few Indians understand this as seen by voters wanting to vote for parties like AAP.

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