Calling Mr. Banker
A few days ago I got an SMS from one of the NEW AGE banks, I have a credit card.
" We have upgraded your credit card, you will get the new one in a few days at your billing address"
Now my billing address is my parents home, while I live in a different city. I was not planning to go to my parents home for some time. So I called the bank's call center, whose number is given is font about half this size, behind the credit card and I needed find my magnifying glass from my school days to read it.
In these days of paid caller tune the Bank was kind enough to make me listen to free music and lyrics, albeit singing Hosannas about how wonderful the bank and its products are. I was lost in the melodious lullaby and had almost fallen asleep when somebody woke me up to ask for my problem. I explained that would it be possible to deliver the card to my local address.
"NO", I was told bluntly, as we need to follow RBI guidelines for KYC and if you need a change in address you need to visit our nearest branch, fill a form and give an application.
Well OK, I thought who wants to take Panga with RBI, not me a struggling blogger, I thought, and would just call my parents to courier the card to me once received.
As I was about to keep the phone, the young man asked me if I am looking for any investments? I said yes I do have plans for investing for my future but not sure where considering my limited knowledge on all financial matters.
Suddenly the tone of the young man on the phone changed.
" Nothing to worry sir, I will send our Investment manager to your address and he will help you"
" But my address is of another town, would you send him here or to my parents home?" I wanted to know.
Any where in country sir, wherever you say, we can send him to your office, or home as per your convenience.
" But will RBI not have a problem sending your consultant to my local address while my address in your records is for another city?"
"Nothing to worry Sir, our Manager will help you with all the formalities"
" But what about KYC?"
" Sir my Investment Manager will take care of that"
" OK, let me think about it, I said and hung up".
Since then I have received many calls from the Investment Manager seeking an appointment. It is clear that the poor call center chap and the Investment manager have a target to sell and their bosses ignore RBI norms as long as the money keeps on coming. Remember The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian ?
So here are a few questions I want to ask the new age modern banks, some of them who were recently slapped by RBI for not following the KYC Norms.
What is clear is the moment somebody wants to invest money though a bank all the KYC norms are thrown out of window and the bankers are willing to bend to adjust customers with funds. For all other cases RBI is used as the Gabbar Singh.
I am all for following RBI norms, but both in letter and spirit, I wonder when our banks will follow the same.
What has been your experience with your bank? Let us hear it in comments.