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Sarad (Consultant)     19 August 2011

Free look up


My uncle invested an amount of 1 lac in HDFC Bank as Fixed deposit. An employee in the capacity of Asst. Manager later talked him to invest that amount in a security market based nvestment plan and collected cheque and an application form to transfer this amount from the FD to the new plan. He was told that it is a sort of Systematic Investment Plan where you have to invest an annual amount of 1 lac. for 5 years. Being an NRI, he visited the branch for his next vaccation and found that the amount was reduced to around 68000. On enquiry it was explained that the scheme was a ULIP based Pension Plan, the rest are several charges. Moreover, he didnt even receive a document for that untill he made this enquiry. Very soon they sent him a 'reprinted' copy of this document stating that the original was sent before and furnished was a docket number of Speed Post Service. So he wanted to cancel the investment. Gave a complaint in the HDFC Bank branch to cancel the plan, surrendered the documents, stating the whole story, that though it happened through misrepresentation, atleast cancel it in Free look period. They fowarded it to their Insurance dept. They rejected the request by stating that the free look up period is over as soon as they sent the documents. But as per their covering letter it will be over only after 15 days after the customer receives it. Now the bank employees says that it cannot be handled by them since it is an insurance matter and we need to go to the grievance cell of the HDFC Standard Life Insurance. We did with same result. Some thing I dont understand is that how come an employee of the Bank can sell/force an insurance product to his customer but has no liability to service it.

Now, we are not sure whether we need to move this issue to Banking Ombudsman or Insurance Ombudsman.  Do we have any other choice other than this? Please advise me how to deal with this case in this scenario. If we need them, then shall we need to be present for hearing or can it be done through our Advocate? Or atleast can I represent him as he is an NRI.

Thanks and Regards,



 6 Replies

akash kapoor (*************)     19 August 2011

see procure a general power of attorney from your uncle and go to the greviance cell. if this had happened the way you say it did it is cheating in typical sence. so you acn go or just register a comlain in the greviance cell. Normally they take complaints very seriously. you can also consult the regional head via email. If these are of no vail. You can proceed with the help of al awyer.

Kumar Doab (FIN)     20 August 2011

The bank has made a pass on your uncle.

The banks have either a referral or distribution tie up with the insurance company and get hefty commissions. In your case the insurance company is a group company of the bank.

Your uncle was approached by Astt. Manager of the bank, the application forms were carried by him and he obtained your uncle’s signature on the blank forms without explaining the form to him, and without supplying scheme SIP (in fact a ULIP based pension policy to be issued by another company), and without supplying a PQIS/benefit illustration showing tentative return @6% and 10%, and giving detail all administrative charges, applicable in the policy. This PQIS/benefit illustration is made mandatory to be supplied to client by the company as per IRDA rules along with the brochure of the policy before the form is signed by the customer. You have to carefully check if your uncle signed it or not? There are lots of cases where forging of signatures is complained.

Incidentally copy of the form and the PQIS/benefit illustration signed by client is to be provided in the policy document as a part of policy document. Hence you can make out the signatures are genuine or forged.

This appears to be a case of misselling, in which a insurance policy was sold as SIP.

In case of NRI the policy is supplied at Indian address if a separate document is signed by NRI , mentioning the name and address of the person to whom policy document can be supplied if he is not available in India, and local person’s signatures are also obtained.

Your uncle did not receive the policy document hence free look period shall start from the date of delivery of the duplicate policy document to your uncle.

The case is clear. Whatever bank may say you should complain with the BM of the Astt. Manager with copy to MD of the bank Aditya Puri

Your uncle may mention that he shall report the matter to NRI Sabha, and may complain to NRI thana, and approach h media at the cost and consequences of the bank.

As rightly advised by learned Mr. Kapoor you can proceed thru a lawyer handling consumer cases and a lawyer’s notice may be sufficient to resolve the matter. Company may try to avoid bad publicity.

 In a similar case we were able to get the principle amount back with the help of a lawyers notice in case of a NRI.

Sarad (Consultant)     20 September 2011


Thanks for your valuable advise. Forwarded that to my uncle and he had sent a mail to narrating the whole story with a copy of all email conversations between the bank and himself. We were waiting for a reply since then. Finally we received it and pasting that below this reply. Hope we can proceed with Insurance Ombudsman. Please advise.




Reply for the complaint sent to Aditya Puri:

Dear Mr. M.Vijayan,
We refer to your email dated September 5, 2011 addressed to Mr. Aditya Puri wherein you have raised concern for the aforesaid policy.
After conducting internal assessment of your complaint, we would like to confirm that our decision conveyed to you via our reply email dated August 4 2011, remains unchanged.
Kindly find the enclosed copy of our earlier reply email dated August 4, 2011, for your reference.
In case you are not satisfied with the decision of the Company, you may approach the Insurance Ombudsman in your region at the address given below
Insurance Ombudsman

Office of the Insurance Ombudsman

2nd Floor, CC 27/2603, Pulinat Building

Opp. Cochin Shipyard, M.G. Road

Ernakulam- 682015

Tel: 0484-2358759 Fax: 0484-2359336

Assuring you the best of our services
Warm Regards

Hemalata Menon

Customer Service Department


Kumar Doab (FIN)     20 September 2011

Kindly check the POD details of the speed post number. You can enquire from nearest speed post centre if they can produce the address of the sender and recipient and then you can compare whether the address was ever given by you or not.

Bank is taking chance as the bank feels you may not be able to prove mis selling.

It shall be appropriate to consult a lawyer experienced in handling consumer cases and decide the appropriate forum where you wish to protest.

1 Like

Sarad (Consultant)     16 July 2013


Finally my uncle approached the consumer court and the judgement can be viewed from the link:

thanks for the advise. I just wanted to update you.



V Kumar (Asipiring L)     13 August 2013

Sarad - Wow - i am currently going throught the copy of the judgement - extremely good. Any advise from you/your uncle to others facing similar problems in dealing with insurance companies. I am sure your experience gets replicated a lot with some of the lesser known names as well.

Thanks a lot for revisiting this post and update with the judgement link - I will update this on my blog as well, as I find this judgement with HDFC Insurance that you had extremely inspiring.

Best regards.


PM at theinsurer

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