Friday, August 24, 2007

ICICI BANK IN INDIA WITH DEVIOUS PRACTISES TO MAKE FAST BUCK

SUSPENSE ACCOUNTS IN ICICI BANK



It was a shocking experience with India’s second-largest (first in private sector) ICICI Bank that proceeds of a cheque sent for clearing were kept in suspense-account without informing the depositor about the same. On enquiry, it was revealed that ICICI Bank had a system whereby it keeps proceeds of clearing-instruments with it if the depositor forgets to mention account-number on the deposit-slip, or name differs in cheques deposited from the name given in accounts or for any other such and similar reasons, without any system to inform the depositor/account-holder. Most account-holders especially having savings accounts trust banks to be fair without caring to tally bank-statements.



Banks must not have a right to mint money by thus multiplying their suspense-accounts without informing customers about flaws in deposit-slips. Instead banks should return the cheques to depositors without sending in clearing if they find any discrepancy in the clearing-instruments as is normally done in public-sector banks. Union Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India and Banking Ombudsman should investigate how much public-funds are thus credited in suspense-accounts of ICICI Bank and other banks. Even public-limited companies have to inform share-holders about their not cashing dividend-warrants in a stipulated period when these are compulsorily deposited with the Government rather than being swallowed by the companies. Same should be applied with Banks so that firstly suspense-proceeds may not be allowed to be generated, or otherwise these should be in custody of government rather than Banks. ‘Right-To-Information’ Act should be extended to private sector to effectively check victimisation of consumers by such mischievous activities of private-sector Banks at a time when government has dragged public in hands of anti-public private-sector in name of free economy.



SUBHASH C. AGRAWAL

(Guinness Record Holder for most letters in newspapers)

1775 Kucha Lattushah

Dariba DELHI 110006 (India)