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State Bank Of India, Chengannur, Kerala / Employees who don't care

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I am an NRI. I bank with State Bank of India Chengannur, Kerala. I recently visited India and this is my experience. (Part Two/Two). I never thought I would be writing this, so I didn’t note anyone’s name or title.
I am an ex-service man who is drawing a military pension through SBI Chengannur. I had a standing power of attorney authorizing SBI Chengannur to do all things necessary to collect my pension and deposit it into my SB NRO account. Till November 2010 everything went well, and then the pension stopped. In February 2011 while I was on vacation, I went and saw the person in charge of military pensions and explained the situation. After going through the documents it was found that the life certificate was not forwarded to the DPDO and was promised the situation will be corrected. However, I didn’t receive any pension thereafter.

This time in March 2012, upon on my enquiry at bank and going back and forth four times in the span of two days between DPDO Pathanamthitta and SBI Chengannur, I found that the life certificate without a pre-receipt was send by SBI Chengannur and DPDO Pathanamthitta send it back asking the bank to re-submit it with a pre-receipt. Up until 2010 the bank had no problem submitting a pre-receipt on my behalf with the power of attorney. Also, all other banks including SBI had no problem in sending these receipts. However, in my case SBI Chengannur had a problem and still I was not able to convince them that they had to send a pre-receipt on my behalf, based on my power of attorney. Since I was not able to convince them of this, I withdrew my power of attorney.

Since the pension was not collected for two years because of bank negligence / ignorance of their own procedures, I had to complete additional formalities which involved getting an affidavit in a Rupees 50/- bond paper. I tried to get a 50 or 100 or even 500 Rupees bond paper, from Pathanamthitta, Aruanmula, Chengannur, and Adoor but was unsuccessful. That day alone I spent Rupees 4500/- in taxi charges alone. The next day I was able to get a Rupees 100/- bond paper from an attorney through the influence of another person. (Since the Government is going to switch to e-payment for all services, no bond papers are available (in open market)).

When all the formalities were completed my total expense was about Rupees 12700/- (Twelve thousand seven hundred plus) excluding the meals and other expenses and what was left of those two days from the previous ordeal with the bank and an extra day to complete the new formalities at the DPDO.

Worst of all is, out of my 21 valuable days of vacation three days were spent straightening out the mess created by the negligence / ignorance of their own procedures by State Bank of India Chengannur. What will be your reaction to this?

Thank you.

George Abraham April 8, 2012

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  • Ge
      8th of Apr, 2012

    I am an NRI and I bank with State Bank of India Chengannur, Kerala. I recently visited India and this is my experience with SBI, Part One/Two. What am I expecting out of writing this? Probably nothing, I am just venting out some of my frustrations. I never thought I would be writing this, so I am sorry that didn’t note anyone’s name or title.
    I had two fixed deposits and a NRO SB (Pension) account in this bank. One of my fixed deposits was already maturing, and I wrote to the manager not to renew it and he responded back asking for my SB account number to deposit the same and I responded back with that information.
    Upon my arrival at the bank I contacted the window clerk/ cashier and explained the situation and she checked and confirmed my doubt that the amount was not deposited in my SB account. She pointed to the back and asked me to see a Manager. I went and handed over the certificate to the manager at desk 1. He looked at the certificate, at the computer and also attended to other customers at the same time. After about an hour and a half later, he asked me to give the certificate to the manager at desk 2. She took about half an hour looking back and forth and asked me to give to the gentlemen at desk 3. After about an hour, he told me that it was already renewed and it, being a joined account, needed to bring my wife in also to pre-maturely close it. Then again I explained him it can’t be renewed because I requested the manager not to renew it and he responded to my e-mail. Needless to say the account was renewed and after about three to three and a half hours, I went back home without cashing it out.
    The next day, again I went to the bank with my wife and approached the manager on desk 3 and explained the situation. She told me all about the interest, taxes and PAN card and its implications and so on. So I presented her our PAN cards. Now she wanted me to write an application on a white sheet of paper to link our PAN card numbers to our accounts and attach our passport size photos to the application and give a photo copy of the PAN cards. So I went out again did all the arrangements and came back to the bank. Now another manager was sitting at table 3 she looked at all this she took the PAN card typed on the computer and told me it is added. She needed no application, photos or photo copies.
    She sent me back to the manager on table 2 again. She again looked at it, after several consultations with other mangers ask me if this is an NRO account. When I said yes, (that was her ‘eureka’ moment, after about 6 to 7 hours back and forth) she directs me to another manager on desk 4. After about one hour and two signatures later he said it is done. At this point, I give my second CD which was not matured and requested it to be cashed out too. He explained that I will be losing interest and so on. But, I was so fed up and frustrated, I decided to do only the very minimum banking with State Bank of India, and would definitely advise anyone in my family, who wanted to Bank with State Bank of India not to.
    Out of my 21 valuable days of vacation two days worth of time and taxi charges were spend to withdraw the money which was mine in the first place. Would you bank with this Bank again? Do you think these employees care about the bank or its customers?

    Thank you.
    George Abraham April 8, 2012

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  • Ng
      11th of Mar, 2013

    DPDO information about the pensioners pathanamthitta

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