December 17, 2008

Banking burdens

Well, the idea of banks initially used to be to reduce one's economical stresses about keeping money safe. But I am not sure how the work these days. Yup, for most part I am sure they do what they promise. However, there are hidden clauses, unheard-of rules and unstated assumptions. Both my brother and I had an account in a certain bank here in Adyar, Chennai. And we've both been away from the country for a reasonable amount of time. That meant that the accounts lay low with minimal activity and I could understand it when they told me when I went there this time that my account was regarded "dormant" and I would have to ask for reactivation. Ok... then, they asked me for a proof of identity, not one, but three. Oh and the passport wasn't enough. And where they's promised me a zero-balance account, they now required 25k. Forget all that.. my brother's account was now regarded "unclaimed". And that meant, the ate 10% of the original account balance as a "fee" for "maintaining" the unclaimed account ever year. And they sent us a letter by regular mail to inform us about the same. With the amount of junk that each bank sends us regarding new "zero balance accounts" and credit card offers, we were expected to sift through all of that and actually find the clause in a pile of gibberish, assuming they really did send us the letter. And we, the innocent unsuspecting account holders had no idea of all of this till one fine day, the secondar account holder my mom decided to shut the account down and get all the money in it. She was pretty shocked and upset to learn that 40% of the initial amount had consistently vanished over the past 4 years that the account lay "unclaimed". Off went my dad all upset and indigninant at being unaware of such a ridiculous clause, being a banker himself. Then they demanded proofs of identities of my brother's and mother's, both to be self-attested, which wasn't initially mentioned. Once the letter went in, the demand for attestation came through about a month later...and once the attestation also went in, we were informed that we would receive the remaining balance but not the amount that was gobbled over the years. Banking made simple? Surely not. The solution? Don't trust the foreign banks masquerading themselves with advanced systems... trust the Indian brand names. Go India!


Sachin said...

Even Indian banks are learning from their foreign counterparts to cheat us innocent customers. I had a similar issue about my demat account with an Indian bank, who was charging me annual maint. charges even though I remember closing it myself, when I was here 4 yrs back. I was shocked to see the amount and since I had no proof of closing the account, agreed to pay it and close the account now. So the bank said they would send me some closing form and in the meanwhile I received a reminder with an increased amount. I was agitated and wrote a slapping mail to the perosn saying I am not paying a penny more than what I have agreed to and they better close my account or I shall take the necessary action. My account was closed within 7 days.

Moral - Gaaliyan khaye bina log kaam hi nahi karte yahan. Wake up India, this chalta hai attitude has cost us all 5 terrorist attacks this year. Are you hungry for more???

Jaya said...

Sachin -> I think all the banks ar eall oka as long as we maintain the account n keep the cash flow. Once we want to close it or if it remains inactive we are charged heavily for something we don't have to technicall worry about. That's indeed worrisome. I donno if online banking is a good solution to all this. But in this day n age it seems like everything is more in control if we can deal with it from the comfort of our home.

Post a Comment