Private Banks in India — Banking for the Booty

Sometime back we have been discussing the essence of Small Savings and also the need to patronize Nationalized Banks. For the interested readers, please check out the following permalinks:

  1. Need for small savings.
  2. Nationalized Banks — Truly caring for the nation.

Just thought of sharing some of my personal experiences too with nation’s second largest private banking group (ICICI) which I humbly hope would be useful for others to make a decision of whether to have a relationship with such a base-minded branch. A few of them also indicate how much the bank management is planning meticulously to demoralize other banks and supposedly walk over thier carcasses.

There are actually three salient instances I would like to share.

  1. Failure to setup Standing Instructions Sometime in January 2003, I chose to have some funds opened up as a Recurring Deposit in ICICI Branch, Egmore. The staff also offered to setup a standing instruction so that the said commitments from us would directly go in from our linked (parent) Savings Account. After three months, when I audited the account, the standing instruction was not being obeyed up. As usual, the jokers at the phone bank could not help anything. The branch was showcasing Chennai’s most roughest and arrogant staff that used to literally stand testimony for our other post ‘Neeya Naana‘. After one year, at the time of maturity, I was promised that a one shot debit would be done and maturity amount given. But the Central Processing Unit of the bank said that ‘We are sorry for the wrong information’ but gave only the first EMI amount. If you have a chance to go through Egmore High Road (after Santosham Chest Hospital) and before the turn to Egmore Railway station), you can find this branch. You can always find these staff giggling at each other totally shirking work and responsibility.
  2. Transfer of Account from Koramangala to Chennai I had one more ICICI branch savings account at Koramangala branch, Bangalore and when I dropped in at Adyar branch, Chennai to find out if I can transfer-close the same to my Chennai account, the supposedly manager (thus reflecting from his ID card) was shaking his head like what you call in Tamil as boom boom madu and he was trying to convince that since the accounts are linked, ‘You just give a cheque from one of the account and the amount would be sweeped in from the accounts’. And when I gave a cheque to the Canara Bank on 5th December 2005, the instrument promptly bounced but ICICI did not have the guts to even call me and inform regarding the bounce or debit charges. They could not accept thier own manager’s false and fake information. Interestingly, these guys sent the instrument only on 15th January 2006 after incessant firing showered on them from multiple quarters.
  3. So exceeded >> I hence decided that this bank is no more good so we would abruptly close the relationship and hence I debited all the funds from both the accounts and transferred to my Indian Bank. But the closure instruction was again dancing. Neither my extension counter at Vidyodaya nor the base branch at Nungambakkam or the facilitation counter at Bazulla road was able to locate and process ethically the closure instructions. Again a second round of tamasha made them inoperable and to close the inoperable accounts.
  4. Credit Card Mishandling I have one more charge against ICICI Adyar branch. For some reason which the ICICI Credit Card Unit or me do not know, why ExpressIT courier could not deliver the credit card at my home or office (inspite of someone waiting for the consignment dedicatedly) and redirect the same to Adyar branch, duly signed and recieved by Bharathi over there. ICICI Adyar branch does not have anything to deal with credit card at all.
  5. My friends’ date with ICICI My friend, Santosh Kumar Sinha too had many subtle experiences with ICICI bank. When he attempted to give a closure instruction at Cenotaph Road branch, he was shocked to see a hefty amount of debits on the pretext of non-maintenance and dormancy charges. And for closure, he was again asked to deposit some amount to the tune of INR 200/- I really don’t understand and asked him why 200 since the closure charges are only 110. While he was confused, the only thing he could reply ‘Let the beggars go off. Let us not fight with them again‘. In my case, while closing, I sweeped to zero and then kept a fifty paise in the account. Bazulla road branch seemed to have gobbled the fifty paise as ‘Account Closure Charges’. šŸ™‚
  6. Fingerpointing Following up with point number (2) above, when I chose to ask for details, ICICI had the guts to charge Canara Bank on the pretext that they are answerable for delayed delivery of the instrument and other lame reasons.

I think it is high time that the Finance Ministry of India, wakes up before ICICI makes the entire nation pauper by transferring funds to thier personal private wallets.