Monday, 10 November 2014

BANKERS ALERT ! ARBITRARY CLOSING OF CUSTOMERS’ ACCOUNT

Arbitrary  closing of bank accounts of customers for non compliance or some shortcomings in compliance with the KYC - KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER GUIDELINES by banks may land them in trouble as the recent verdict of the the consumer forum Delhi, it tantamounts to deficient customer service and may land the concerned bank in trouble and getting penalized.A Delhi consumer forum has ruled that a bank closing its customer's account without serving him notice seeking his various particulars as per the KYC NORMS is liable to be held guilty of rendering deficient service.
Delhi's Central District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, headed by its president B B Chaudhary gave the ruling while holding Karol Bagh branch of the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur guilty of rendering DEFICIENT SERVICE to one of its customers, whose bank account it had closed without serving a due notice to him, seeking his particulars. 
  • It also asked the bank to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation within 30 days to complainant R N Prabhakar, a lawyer, for causing "harassment, pain and mental agony" to him. 
  • "We hold that the act of the bank amounts deficiency in service. It led to harassment, pain and mental agony to the complainant," the forum said. 
  • The forum said the bank, itself, did not follow the RBI guidelines, published in a news daily, on the KYC by closing the account of the lawyer on its own. Rather, it cleared two cheques of the complainant before closing his accounts without giving him a notice, it said.

    "It was not appropriate on its part to close the account or not to honor the cheque of the complainant by taking shelter under the public notice," it said. 

Prabhakar, in his complaint, had alleged that the bank dishonored a cheque issued by him in favor of  without any valid reason. He also also sought that his complaint be treated as a public interest litigation.It should be ‘driven in’ the minds of bankers that customers’ bank accounts are not toys to be played with, at will. So, before telling customers ‘अगर KYC डाकुमेंट नही जमा किये तो अकाउंट बंद कर दूंगा (bank account will be closed if you do not deposit the KYC documents). please think twice and ponder again.

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