The Big Brother Coming With a Whip

I don’t think all the private banks can keep going scott free charging sky rocketing prices for anything and everything fleecing the customers and skinning them. Sometime on October 16, 2006 there has been a circular to all private banks that passbooks have to be mandatorily issued to all account holders without charging them extra on the pretext of recovering any charges from the customer.

Private banks as usual have proposed a large set of points attempting to veto this proposal on a variety of grounds to ensure that thier honeymooning on the hard-earned money of consumers does not get affected.

Advantages of Passbooks:

  1. Quoting from RBI Directive, a passbook is a ready reckoner of transactions and being handy and compact, is far more convenient to the small customer than a statement of account which has some inherent difficulties, viz. need of filing, tallying of opening balance with closing balance of last statement, loss/delay in receipt of statement, etc.
  2. No longer can banks put the blame of postal service and courier services for thier lethargy in sending statements or laxity in messing up in missing the delivery of statements and surreptiously including a plethora of hidden charges of diversified flavors and colors.
  3. The financial institutions can no longer start levying insurance and similar charges transferring the funds to thier sister companies. I am typically pointing out to ICICI Bank malpractices in which scores of accounts are debited and transferred to ICICI Prudential Insurance, the sister group of ICICI Bank. I typically know of an organization in Chromepet, which just took a salary account and because of plethora of complaints had to kill off the relationship with them and get linked to another bank.
  4. Not everyone are tech-savvy. If banks have to reach rural areas then passbooks are mandatory. With thousands of security problems in Internet Banking and ATMs located in unsecure areas, passbooks are the best resilent transaction audit for the customer.
  5. [Mandatory Passbooks]

Sources (for More Information):

  1. The circular from Apex Bank.
  2. Private Banks and elusive Passbooks — Coverage on Rediff.