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radha (freelancer)     03 April 2010

Bad Conduct of HDFC bank

Need Urgent help and advice and provide the relevant law and processes. Please excuse for a lengthy draft.

Queries:

Which and how many communications and reminders bank is supposed to send before closing account under KYC norms. Which mode of post e.g. bank should use e.g. normal post, registered post, UPC, courier.  Can the bank claim that notice was sent by normal post and hence is deemed to be delivered.

 Do the consumer forums or civil court agree that the normal post is deemed to be delivered and no POD is required to claim the delivery?

Is there any rule that the bank should use only registered post/ courier of repute to deliver the notice?

Is it that the bank shall send notice after letter and reminders? Is there any rule that the notice shall be sent by registered post or courier only and a receipt or airway bill and POD is to be maintained by the bank?

If the account is in particular branch and all branches are CBS, then is it that the customer has to contact the home branch only to learn the fate of his account and why the balance in his account is nil. Or is it a tactics by the bank to send the customer to the home branch so that the bank saves money on registered post and close the case by showing that the customer was explained everything in person and he was satisfied and therefore accepted the final payment.

 

If in bank record KYC requirements are not complete, can the bank refuse to pay cash or issue new FD, or break a FD, until these are submitted by customer, and if the customer submits then and there, and bank pays cash, breaks FD, issues FD, would it be considered that customer had completed KYC requirements, but the bank did not update the record.

Does bank send a written letter to customer that your KYC requirements are complete now?

Can the home branch claim that they do not know the reason for closing the account , even after the account status is shown as closed  in  the computers of the bank and bank staff can innocently state verbally that they will send an email and customer has to come again to enquire about the reason the same will be told verbally only.

 Can the bank threaten to lodge and lodge a police complaint?

Can we demand CCTV recording from the bank as a matter of our right to defend us ad prosecute the offending Bank official.

The details are given below.

 

 

A is Senior citizen and had a E&S joint savings bank account with his wife B also a senior citizen in Bank Of Punjab. This bank was taken over by Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBOP), and became Centurion bank of Punjab. Again Centurion bank of Punjab merged in HDFC Bank Ltd and it became HDFC bank Ltd. The saving bank account of A &B now is an account with HDFC bank. A had deposited his and for B the pan card copy, voter card copy latest photograph to CBOP and also HDFC bank.

A used to go to the bank for transaction e.g. to withdraw money to make a new FD, at different branches since all branches are CBS and interlinked. The HDFC bank staff including cashier, teller again asked to deposit pan card copy, voter card copy latest photograph at the time of disbursing cash or making new FD. Thus A deposited pan card copy, voter card copy latest photograph, more than once, although he verbally complained to the bank staff why they are not updating their record, and asking for docs again and again.

A sent a payment by HDFC Bank payable at par cheque to his lawyer in another city, on 02.03.2010. On 17.03.2010, the lawyer called back and informed that his cheque has bounced. A requested the lawyer to send the cheque and bank memo back to him and he dispatched a DD to the lawyer by regd post immediately. The lawyer told A that he has posted the bounced cheque and bank memo back to him, but A has not received it. The lawyer has not made any issue out of it, so far.

On 18.03.2010, A visited HDFC bank branch near his residence (not his home branch where he has account) and enquired why his cheque bounced, while he has maintained sufficient balance. The bank staff including Manager verbally told A that balances in his account is nil and asked him to visit his home branch. A demanded all branches are CBS so this branch can also tell him where his money in account has gone, and to give him account statement, but bank staff asked him to go and enquire with his Home Branch Only.

Since A was not feeling well he wrote a complaint dated 19.03.2010, and in the same authorized his son C to represent him and deal with the bank in this matter. However A visited the Home Branch himself alone with this complaint and was directed to see Deputy Manager, a male. This Deputy Manager told A that his account has been closed and balance in his account is nil, and he can not find the reason in bank records, and he will send an internal email to his Head Office and shall inform A verbally on receiving a reply. A gave this written complaint, which the Deputy Manager refused to receive and acknowledge in writing, and refused to give any  reply or comment in writing. The Bank has the landline phone number of A in their record, and A has been getting phone calls on this number for various kind of offer of Home Loans , personal loans, insurance  etc, from the bank.

Since A did not receive any information from the bank, he visited the bank again on 23rd/25th/ 27th March, 2010. On 25.03.2010 The Deputy Manager informed A that he has received reply by email from his Head Office, and as per the reply Head Office of HDFC Bank at Mumbai sent a notice on 11.02.2010 to A, to complete KYC norms within 30 days from the date of the notice, or his account shall be closed, and his account has been closed on 14.03.2010. A told he has not received any such notice moreover he has kept all the requirements fulfilled for his account, and even after the date of the notice he has withdrawn money, made FD , deposited money and he has given all documents multiple number of times, so how his account can be closed.

Deputy Manager told s per procedure one letter and one reminder is sent by the bank under receipt to the customer. A pointed out you are telling about only one notice was sent, and asked to provide the copy of registered post receipt / airway bill of the courier vide which the letters or the notice was sent, and its proof of delivery, and reply to him in writing, and that he has not received the refund of the amount which was lying in his bank.

A specifically told that now the bank shall not make any telephone call to him and shall send a written reply only. The deputy Manager said he will not give anything in writing and shall send an email to his Head Office in Mumbai to send a letter as wanted by A. No reply was received, by A.

On 31.03.2010, C the son of A went to the home branch with the written complaint dated 19.03.2010 in which A had authorized C to represent him.

C did not meet this Deputy Manager but approached another Deputy Manager a female. This female asked C many times to go to the previous Male Deputy Manager. C did not agree. The female Deputy Manager went to her counterpart Male Deputy Manager many times and read from the printout of an email that a notice was sent to A on 11.02.2010, and they do not have and also have not received any Dispatch detail or POD from their Head Office, but received the written complaint of A dated 19.03.2010. The Male Deputy Manager and another female also joined. They verbally said their Head Office has closed down 150 accounts from their branch only, and refund cheques are lying with them and in a saving account only a specific and limited number of transactions are allowed, and if exceeded the account can be closed.

C pointed out bank has not given any such clause in writing and its highly unfortunate that 150 refund cheques are lying in the branch, and when the bank calls and chases saving account customers for new accounts, loans, insurance why can't bank go to customer for confirming if they have received bank letter /notice and take another copy of documents with request that the copies collected  earlier from the customer  are not traceable, and why can't bank send the refund cheque by Regd post and why the bank is waiting the customer to suffer some loss and come running to bank at their expense and collect their cheques.. These managers gave the receipt of complaints written by A and another complaint written by C as a representative of A, and issued complaint number.

By this time the bank staff had realized A and C are pointing deficiencies and were in a hurry to send C away since other customers were also listening.

 C wanted to see the Branch Manager, and was told that she is in meeting and shall not pick up the phone. C wanted to see the Circle Head whose office is above this branch. They were reluctant. At last they agreed and said they all will go with him. One female deputy manager took C to Circle Head. By that time Circle Head was appraised on phone, by the staff of the branch.

The circle head was rude, fuming, and was bent on starting a dispute and shouted on C and said you have been abusing the bank staff in branch on ground floor and the Police Commissioner of the city is his relative and he will lodge the complaint and shall get him thrown in jail and he will call his legal staff of the bank to lodge a police complaint against him and start legal proceedings against him. The Circle Head called branch staff in his chamber and started asking them to give a witness against C.

 C left the bank. The circle Head and his deputy called at the residential phone number of A and started making enquiries for the sake of formality. C attended one such call and asked them not to disturb on phone and send a written reply only. The circle Head called again on the landline number and said they have lodged a police complaint.

C generated phone number of the bosses of circle head and reported the matter. The Regional Manager said he is out of station and he will look into the matter and ask the Circle Head to visit A and C and tender an apology tomorrow and said no such police complaint can be lodged. A and C felt he is trying to delay.

C called a Vice president of the bank on phone and reported the matter and later also sent an email to him. This Vice president .said the Regional Manager of the bank is a very senior officer and he shall do the needful.

On 31.03.2010 the bank hurriedly dispatched one envelope and on 01.04.2010 a courier came to the residence of A with an envelope and there was no airway bill with it. C asked the courier to record that he came without airway bill and bring the envelope with airway bill.

On 02.04.2010 the courier delivered the envelope with airway bill. The envelope contained a PAYINST cheque dated 20.03.2010 and PAYINST advice attached with the cheque read as" THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR ACCOUNT HAS BEEN CLOSED AS PER ABOVE DETAILS.PLEASE REFER TO THE NOTICE SEND EARLIER"

 

 

A & C are feeling as per reports they have read and heard the bank will do everything to save their skin and will proceed to show A and C a culprit and enter adverse remarks in their account history.

So far C has not received any visit by police and has neither received any reply to his email, or written reply to complaints by A & C. The bank has legal staff posted in all cities and they shall frame their version before giving any reply.

 

They want to sue the bank. Kindly advice what are their rights, and how should they proceed against the bad conduct and deficiencies of the bank and their Circle Head.

Can we ask for CCTV camera recording from the bank.

 

 

 



Learning

 1 Replies

Rajeev Bhargava (Director)     04 April 2010

I can suggest write to CEO aditya puri on aditya.puri@hdfcbank.com as well to Business India as they declared HDFC the best bank


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