Bank Alfalah A Hooligan Bank — complaint to banking mohtasib agaisnt forecful debiting of account
Banking Mohtasib Pakistan,
5th floor, M.R. Kiyani Road,
P.O. Box 604,
Subject: Complaint against Bank Alfalah for forcible debiting of my account No. [protected] at Jaranwala Branch 0159 by Rs.193736 against my credit card account No.[protected] violating SBP guidelines issued on Nov. 04, 2008.
With due respect, this complaint is in reference with the shameful conduct of Bank Alfalah LTD perpetrated on Nov.17, 2008 when my Account No. [protected] at Jaranwala Branch was forcefully debited by an amount of Rs.193736.50. No prior approval was sought nor any notice was served in this regard which was in sheer violation of SBP guidelines issued on Nov.04, 2008 which clearly prohibits a bank and/or a DFI to undertake such an adventure, thus setting aside the right of set off clause possessed by a bank. A cop of the SBP FAIR DEBT COLLECTION GUIDELINES TO BANKS AND DFIs FOR ADDRESSING CUSTOMERS/BORROWERS GRIEVENCES which is also available on the SBP website is attached to the complaint.
A brief account of my whole track of transactions with this bank is as under reflecting the way a bank customer is made victim and humiliated to the arbitrary application of rules and regulations by certain bureaucratic mindset of the bank officials.
1: In the month of Jun, 2007 I was issued a credit card No.[protected] by the Bank Alfalah LTD with the credit limit of Rs.237000. From the issuing date of this card untill March 26, 2008 I had been using this card at various locations with different merchants in Pakistan making all of my payments on time including principal amounts, mark-up, credit cover premiums, excise duties, SMS charges etc., thus earning a total of 14943 points which is equal to the transactions of Rs.747700 over a period of only 10 months. Meanwhile this bank experienced not a single time any delay of payments upon my part. But then suddenly my card was blocked in the month of April 2008 without serving me even a single SMS in advance, although I had been paying for the service to the bank since the issuing of my card. Copies of all the statements of account served by this bank to this complainant during the period showing the conducting of these transactions are attached to this complaint.
2: In the month of April, 2008 a number of both verbal conversations and written correspondence took place between this complainant and Mr. Fayyas Mughal, Manager Risk Management Unit and other officials of the bank who produced one ridiculous pretext or the other for blocking the card. One of the reasons offered by the officials was that a business transaction was allegedly conducted on this card. However to my surprise none of the officials could explain it to me as to what does it mean to be a business transaction and which of the transactions was constituted to be a business one and how? Meanwhile a malicious intent was also shown by these officials to mentally torture me when I was intimated about the cancellation of Warid Connection that I had neither initiated nor used a single time. Copies of this correspondence with these officials are also attached to this complaint.
3: The next episode of a breach of trust upon the part of bank officials came on May 22, 2008 when an off- court settlement plan was offered by the bank through Mr. Bilal from its Faisal Abad office. I fulfilled my part of the settlement and made a payment of Rs.7700 to my credit card account on the same day. However this bank fulfilled none of the commitments made through this settlement. Neither my card was unblocked nor did I receive a written apology for causing me inconvenience. A copy of the statement of account issued by the bank on Jun 01, 2008 showing the submission of this payment is attached to this complaint.
4: On October 28, 2008, another settlement plan was now imposed by this bank and communicated to me on the same day. The size of each installment was too big for me to pay. Moreover I was given only two days to make the first installment that was not possible for me due to financial constraints. Moreover I made a request to reduce the size of installments and increase their number to my convenience. A copy of the settlement plan is also attached to this dossier.
5: Statement of account generated on Nov. 01 2008 shows a payment of Rs.8200 on the same day, which was never made by me. Moreover a statement of account generated by this bank on Dec. 01, 2008 shows the same payment under the heading payment adjusted DTD.01/11. However my bank statements issued on Nov.17, 2009 and Jan. 09, 2009 show none of these payments. Copies of all the statements showing these maltreatments are also attached to this complaint.
6: According to SBP guidelines, no bank or DFI is allowed to transfer or misuse any personal data of the customers/borrowers without their prior approval. Moreover advance notice is required to be served to the customer when bank/DFI staff picks up the payment. A copy of the said guidelines is attached to this complaint. But in a sheer violation of all these guidelines, this bank perpetrated worst type of hooliganism and extortion against the complainant, badly shaking my trust and confidence and severely damaging the very image of this whole sector. This bank forcefully debited my account by Rs.193736.50 and simply ran away with it.
7: On Jan. 06, 2009, under the instructions of your honorable office, I issued a final notice of 40 days to this bank for addressing my complaint but have got no reply until this day.
In the aftermath of this forcible debiting of my account, I was left with not many options. For a person like me who belongs to a middle class, nothing is more important than keeping up appearance. This irresponsible, unethical, non-professional conduct of this bank put me into great financial constraints and in a state of sheer despair at least at one point, I seriously thought of committing suicide. Earlier my card was arbitrarily blocked without producing any lawful reason. Then a settlement plan was offered, which was never acted upon by this bank. In the end, a settlement plan was imposed upon me which I was unable to follow. However I was prepared to pay my dues provided the installments were reduced to my convenience, which was my right. And finally this hooligan bank perpetrated this extortion and forcibly debited my account for an amount which also included the extra mark up which had earlier been forfeited. Being the protector of consumer rights against this multinational, you are appealed to take an appropriate action against this oppressive treatment of this bank. you are also appealed to take strict action against the manager of Jaranwala branch for a breach of trust and not protecting the interests of one of his valuable customers. Moreover an appropriate action be take against those bank officials who are responsible for this violation of SBP guidelines for addressing customers/borrowers grievances.
Near Lady Garden,
Water Works Road,
Jaranwala. Dist Faisal Abad.
[protected] (Jaranwala Branch)
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