Navi Mumbai: A Koparkhairane resident won a complaint against a public sector bank at the RBI Banking Ombudsman and he was compensated ₹5000. The bank also reversed ₹60 that they had charged for not maintaining a minimum balance.
The public sector bank charged ₹30 twice for not maintaining a minimum balance without informing the customer and the RBI Banking Ombudsman found the bank at fault and directed to pay ₹5000 as compensation. As per the RBI, the bank should have informed the customer before and after charging for not maintaining a minimum balance. But in this case, the bank did not do any correspondence with the customer.
Bank customer and his mother had joint account
Anuj Gupta and his mother Rama Gupta have a joint account with Canara Bank, Koparkhairane branch. Earlier they had an account with Syndicate Bank and after both banks were merged, their account was shifted to Canara Bank. While the minimum balance with Syndicate Bank was ₹1000, it was ₹2000 with Canara Bank. Since they have around 10-year-old bank accounts, they hardly visited the bank and were not aware of the new minimum balance.
The bank collected a penal charge ₹30 on March 2, 2023 and April 2, 2023 without intimating the customer. When Gupta updated his passbook in April 2023, he saw ₹30 was deducted twice and when he checked with the bank, he came to know that it was the penalty for not maintaining a minimum balance. When Gupta asked why the bank did not inform him about the minimum balance as he was new to the bank. The bank official of the Koparkhairane branch informed him that since he did not take SMS services, he could not get the message.
Gupta said that sms service is a value-added service on payment and as per RBI guidelines, banks cannot force customers to opt for SMSs. Even the RBI guidelines clearly direct the bank to intimate customers through email and letters. However, in this case, the bank did not send an email or letter to the customer.
Customer approached RBI Banking Ombudsman
After Gupta did not get any respite from the Koparkhairane branch, he approached the Mumbai Circle office of Canara Bank. However, he did not get justification and his complaint was closed. Finally, he approached the RBI Banking Ombudsman. Gupta also complained that the bank gate was closed for lunch and his mother, a senior citizen, had to wait outside the bank. However, the RBI guidelines say that banks cannot close the gate during working hours including for lunch.
After going through the complainant and the response from the bank, the RBI Banking Ombudsman directed the bank to deposit Rs 5000 as compensation and reverse the Rs 60 penalty charged to the customer.
The RBI Ombudsman also refused the bank's argument that the minimum balance is informed in the notice board of the branch.
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