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The Citi has been Sleeping

Contrary to the tag line, the Citi has been sleeping while the hard earned money of highly respected entrepreneur Sanjeev Aggarwal was being siphoned off.

This is a classic case of trust being broken by the Relation ship manager of a bank. I would agree with Mr. Aggarwal that this is a systemic failure and more than one person at the bank may be involved.

How do we ensure that this does not happen to you and me?

Let me go back a few years and narrate an incident that happened with me some time back.

I was approached by a representative of a private bank for investment in a savings cum investment plan. I was given a lot of papers to sign, since I was busy the banks RM asked me to sign on some “ X “ marks othe papers with the assurance that he will fill the rest. He told me to sign on all the “X” which were total of 6 in numbers. I did the same and also gave him the check from my bank account. This was on a Friday afternoon and the papers were to be presented in bank on Monday morning.

Later in the day I just thought of adding my wife’s name to the investment, so I called the RM and asked him the process of adding the name of my wife to the new investment cum savings plan. He first said that we can do it later but on my pestering agreed to come to my home on Saturday morning to take signatures of my wife on the papers.

Next day he came to our home and gave papers to us, as we were chatting I asked Mrs. to sign on the 6 X marks on the papers. Now my wife has worked earlier as an auditor with a CA firm and is very thorough with documents. She counted the X marks and said there are 7 X marks on the papers. I was surprised and said no there should be only 6, to this the RM quickly intervened and said that no sir there are 7 X marks and you have also signed on 7 X marks. I checked the papers and counted their indeed were 7 X marks. This totally confused me as the day before I have counted all the X marks and signed and only 6 X marks were there. The RM suddenly showed and urge to leave as he had other appointments and said sir please don’t worry if there are 6 or 7 places to be signed as the account is any ways is in my and my wife’s name and in case of any problem he is anywhere there to help me.

But my wife was not happy with this answer and started looking at the papers again. Then she pointed to one of the signs that I have done which was not matching and was not as free flowing as my other signatures. This was the “Eureka moment” for me and immediately I understood what has happened. Mr. RM has forgotten to put all the X marks the day before and since he did not wanted to come again to get only one X signed by me he has simply forged my signatures on the form. Needless to say I was furious and this account was never opened, though the RM tried to convince me that he did this just to save time for me and typically the RMs do this help save time to the clients. But I was very clear any body who can try to forge my signature on account opening form can do that later also when the money is transferred in this account.

In the next blog I will write about how to avoid such situation by taking some very simple precautions.

Thanks for reading do leave a comment.

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