Do banks care for a customer?
SH Subramanian 14 November 2011

For banks- both nationalised and private, you are just a number. Be ready to dump them and move on – if you can afford to

Often there's a valid question as to whether the banks- both nationalised and private -care about their customers. The answer is very simple; it cares to ensure that it makes money from you from all sides, in all transactions. What makes it easy for them is that they are faceless. A bank will contact, persist and pester you whenever it wishes but you can never contact it when you wish!

Do banks care if your spouse doesn’t have good credit? The answer is: Probably a ‘No’. If you are the lucky one who has good credit and you are applying for a “regular home loan” by yourself, everything is fine. Banks are not required to review your spouse credit. But, please don’t go out of your way to tell them the reason why you are applying alone.

A few instances we have faced with State Bank of India:
1. Core banking advantage goes only to the bank! Every time you update in a branch other than the parent one of State Bank of India, you pay Rs10.

2. To give life certificate for pensioners is a serious problem. The period has now become from the full month of November till recently to 15 days (Nov 1 to 15)! Holidays and strike could be from the 6th to the 10th now. And you have to go to the parent branch only for this purpose! In fact, we must sign in front of the manager of any branch in the country.

3. I have simply failed to make my spouse and vice versa to become a joint holder in our SB accounts with SBI, Ghatkopar (W). This is despite the GM, SBI asking them to act to help us 'under intimation’ to him.

4. The 'infamous Senior Citizen’s Saving Scheme: Interest reduced. Also, levying a tax became a fact, though it was introduced tax-free. And, for instance, I found, when continuing a Certificate for Rs50, 000 last year, the principal becomes only Rs46, 000. The reason: A Tax Deduction of "The difference 4,000" for the year 2009. And no TDS was issued to me ever....! This is despite my submitting 15H regularly.

5. I am a Central Government Pensioner. My wife is a State Government Pensioner. Our pension accounts are presently maintained at the Ghatkopar (W) Branch. We are aged 75 and 71 and find it difficult, nowadays to go from Mulund to Ghatkopar for transactions regularly. Changing accounts is a nightmare.

6. To crown it all: My mail to "customer care" cannot be delivered.

7. To block damaged ATM Card, I took 10 days. And without this (giving the ticket) no ATM card will be issued. And I have to approach the parent branch, with this ticket number.

All the advantages of core banking are to the banks and not you. Service charges are going north, while services dwindle day by day.

Every time you contact the call centre with great difficulty, for some transaction or a grievance, you will encounter a different person, a Meena, Sonal, or Mala, … a Amit, Sumit, Abhinav, or Abhishek (I haven’t exhausted all the names!) They do not know you. You are always a stranger to the bank. You are a name at the best or an account number. You have no identity. You are a mere number or a mere name which can be borne by thousands. Every time they will plead ignorance and ask you the same question a hundred times and still you'd not know whether they have understood you. The fact is that they never understand you, nor do they intend to understand you. They offer you the service which they want to render and not the service which you want.

Do we really need a bank account with SBI? The answer is a simple ‘No’. But we have opened our pension accounts, with great hopes, with them decades ago!  The RBI deputy governor may sermonize change your bank but some people have no choice.

In other cases, of course, the choice is yours. You can decide to continue to suffer, knowingly or unknowingly, or you can decide to close your account with this ‘customer unfriendly’ bank.

Nagesh Kini FCA
1 decade ago
Your TDS matter is in deed serious.
Money Life did submit a Memorandum to The Finance Minister, MOF, Secretary Banking, RBI Governor and Chairperson BCSBI who has taken up the matter during the last Meeting of Bank Ombudsman with the RBI Governor.
The Money Life Memorandum is on the website.
dayananda kamath k
1 decade ago
dear sir,
one more example of how banks have taken advantage of customers ignorance. when prudential norms for recognising npa was introduced.of 90 days.banks on their own changed the charging of interest on loans to monthly that they can recognise early and harrass borrowers. but they have not changed the payment of interest on charge interest on monthly compounding.but pay quarterly compounding. is it not unfair practice. this has been brought to the notice of rbi also. but no action.
S H Subrahmanian
1 decade ago
Exactly. Aren't we paying, for instance, the amount for "Thane to Masjid" for a journey from "Mulund to Dadar"? It's illegal for sure!
K B Patil
1 decade ago
The vast majority of Indians need to be sensitised right from the primary school level. That's the reason we behave like we are alone on this earth. I have no hesitation in saying that most of us dont care what is happening to our neighbor as long as we are fine. We keep our houses clean by throwing the dust on to the street or in our neighbor's compound (if it is vacant). That being the case, things will not change easily until our leaders lead a normal life without the benefit of having a thousand servants.

Only when leaders face the troubles of the common man, steps will be taken to change things. Not only banks but even other services like railways, electricity, water supply will definitely change. Otherwise, we will see only minor changes if at all.
S H Subrahmanian
1 decade ago
* Improvement in banking service is need of hour. Banks have increased service charges to extreme levels but have never bothered to improve standard of service towards customer.
Often the emails sent by me are mostly not replied by Banks.
It’s the onus of banks and income tax dept. to ensure the correctness and correlations. Whatever other parameters it sets the onus of matching TDS to tax paid/mismatch to the
computer systems! Income tax's post-return of extra tax is stupid exercise wasting time, making it hell to customers due to negligence by banks/others Now RBI has warned the Banks to be more responsible to the
customers. I was told that the TDS certificates have already been sent long back which I never received for any of the eight accounts. How can all the certificates go missing? The
probability is that they were never sent. When asked for the proof of delivery, it came to be known they had been sent by ordinary post!
Not that kind-Hearted have vanished altogether. We have had pleasant experiences too. While closing many SCQIS at SBI, Mulund, Mumbai a few months back, documents were not found properly filed. There was a big crowd. Though we (Sr Ctzns) had to remain in the branch for the entire day, the kind officer(s) a few months ago attended to me, asking me to dig out relevant papers. But for that I would have to face heavy problems/ possibly losses! It was all the more important that I could reinvest the produce in FDs with more than 10% interest – a plan that was pending for long.!
I would happy as and when RBI makes it mandatory in banks having the “Nomination details” part of KYC.
* Quite recently we had a satisfying experience at SBI, Ghatkopar (W). Two officers took extreme care of us in guiding and getting our grievances redressed on the spot. It was for us to make a few visits to complete te formalities needed.
dayananda kamath k
1 decade ago
dear sir,
recently one of the bank raised certificate charges for solvency certificate basedon networththey certifying from rs. 1000/-being charged to maximum rs.25 laks
when the matterwas taken up with rbi and through rti quiry bank reduced it to
maximum rs.1lakh. which is also high as there is no responsibility or liability on the part of the bank
dayananda kamath k
1 decade ago
indian bank customers have more faith
on their bankersand do not verify the charges interest charged to them. the day they start verifying it and claim the excess charged all indian banks will be in losses. today fee income is more than interest income in banks balance sheet.
Narendra Doshi
1 decade ago
Every time they will plead ignorance and ask you the same question a hundred times and still you'd not know whether they have understood you. The fact is that they never understand you, nor do they intend to understand you. They offer you the service which they want to render and not the service which you want.
YOUR above statement is VALID & VERY TRUE since toll free nos started and is very much valid to the same extent even TODAY, for NOT ONLY SBI but ANY toll free / phone banking activity with any service provider. I hate ALL this and try to use other means like netbanking,emails etc
1 decade ago
I agree with you completely..SBI has issues with the customer has to go to the parent branch only...In case of a Loan.. u only get to knoe the sales Manager /officer who in most of the cases lose interest in you once ur loan is disbursed and he has received his commission. THen you are at the mercy of the bank, they will suddenly charge you for things , which your sales manager never informed you about and then when you contact your Sm , he is not interested in your query. YOu just have to waste time and money on phone calls to get the explanation, which they would obviuosly say " sir this is how our system is built.. i cannot really help it....GOing to OMbudsman is really not practicle for smaller queries...IF possible to Avoid .. using a service of the bank ..pls avaoid it..but i know this is not possible for 95% of the people....
Vikas Gupta
Replied to GM comment 1 decade ago
I totally agree with u.
1 decade ago
Passbook updation charges Rs. 10 from Non-Home SBI Branches already waived from 01/07/2011 (State Bank Day)
a v
1 decade ago
Don't change the Bank. SBI can be made to mend. conduct the transaction from the branch of SBI nearest to you. As Bank's recognise A/c holders by signature only . In CBS environment Pensioners should be able to present themselves at any branch of the Bank ( SBI in this case) for submitting life certificate.

Let pension get credited at SBI Ghatkopar (w) br operate from nearby SBI branch or else issue a cheque from your Pension A/c to self or spouse and get it collected thro any Bank.
Vikas Gupta
Replied to a v comment 1 decade ago
My parents have their pension accounts in SBI. The staff treat them like they are oblidging them for transcating in their bank while its a Personal Banking Branch. The attitude of staff is really pathetic.
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