How Bank of Baroda Harassed Its Own Ex-employee Who Worked with the Bank for 29 Years
Abhay Datar 23 June 2023
As a counsellor at Moneylife Foundation, I encounter innumerable cases where bank customers have a harrowing time getting issues resolved. I completely empathise with them, given the problems that I have faced with a bank that I served for nearly three decades, despite my knowledge of core banking. Let me narrate what happened to me. 
Last year, I was on a three-month holiday in a small city called Al Kharz in Saudi Arabia with my daughter, son-in-law and cute little grandson. One fine morning, I received a call from the Opera House branch of Bank of Baroda (BoB), Mumbai. The officer informed me that due to my resignation, I was not eligible for the extra 1% interest for staff. The internal auditors had, therefore, advised the bank to recover the excess interest paid on my fixed deposits (FDs). The amount was Rs1.62 lakh. I was very disturbed but not particularly shocked. 
I had already taken up, with the top management of BoB, the issue of retaining my eligibility for higher interest, considering my 29 years of service and overall contribution to the Bank. I had pointed out that BoB offered some of these facilities even to officers who were compulsorily retired due to misdeeds. My request was fair and very small in monetary terms (to be paid a 1% extra interest rate as applies to staff). The response came in late and was negative, as expected.
The officer wanted to mark a lien (to recover excess interest paid) on my savings account, but the balance was insufficient. I offered the Bank an option to mark a lien on two fixed deposits (FDs) amounting to Rs2 lakh, due to mature on 26 October 2022, along with seven more FDs (a total of nine FDs). The Bank could easily have recovered interest from these two FDs on the due date. The officer agreed and marked the lien. I also requested him to send an official mail with details of recovery. I received the mail on 27 July 2022.
After returning to India before the Ganpati festival, I visited the branch to ensure that there was no problem with the instructions. Our family had planned a Kerala tour from 26 October 2022, a bank holiday. Therefore, I submitted all nine duly signed FDs with instructions to transfer the maturity proceeds to my savings account a day before the trip (25 October 2022). I had a written, personal request to take necessary action, since I was going out of Mumbai. The Bank accepted all the FDs and, while I was on holiday, I also received seven text messages closing the FDs which were free of lien; the principal was duly transferred to my savings account.  
I was expecting messages for the two other FDs which were marked with a lien. Since I did not receive them, I assumed BoB had made the required lien recovery. While reviewing my savings in the Bank online, I observed that the details of the two FDs in question were misleading. They had been auto-renewed on 26 October 2022 for a further period of 10 years. Both FDs still carried a lien with an outstanding amount of zero in one FD and over Rs38,000 in another FD.  
My passbook showed that the Bank had recovered Rs1,686 towards shortfall in another FD, and my savings account was 'debited' with Rs682 towards saving bank (SB) interest! Two complaints lodged online on the BoB portal were, subsequently, closed one-sidedly, except that for savings interest, the mail clarified "Excess interest paid in previous quarter (i.e., 22nd August to 22nd October) now adjusted."  
I prepared an Excel sheet proving that the interest was credited at 2.75%pa (per annum) was correct and that the Bank should not have recovered any amount. I received an email statement with many columns that contained an amount of Rs682. When I sought an explanation from the branch, they had no answer.
Since I had been instrumental in branch automation and migration to the core banking solution, I was aware of certain back-end procedures; I was also aware of the consequences if the back-end updating is not done in the right manner with all the relevant and integrated data tables.  
I suspected that this problem occurred due to a faulty updating that reduced the rate of interest on my FDs. In an email to BoB's senior management, I wrote that the data centre could have written a small program to set aside the extra interest as 'lien' whenever credited, and the total lien amount could have been recovered at the time of maturity, instead of updating the rate of interest from the back-end.
I kept following up with the Bank through personal visits and emails, trusting that the organisation I served for 29 years and providing me with bread and butter would help. But I received only empty assurances. So, I escalated the matter to the regional head and then to the zonal head, who kept mum even after the third reminder.  
I was only informed that certain general ledger (GL) and profit & loss (PL) account heads were required to be relaxed to pass the necessary entries and that the branch had initiated the process. The GL and PL heads are locked to avoid any direct debit, credit, or mischief, and there is nothing wrong with such rules.
I waited for another 11 days and then wrote a sarcastic note - "In the past, the bank must have relaxed certain GL and PL heads for writing off 'small' amounts in non-performing assets (NPAs), which was a loss to the bank. In my case, the bank has yet to relax certain heads even when it was going to earn a 'huge' amount of Rs1.62 lakh as recovery."
There was another incident in April this year. My wife and I opened two senior citizens savings scheme (SCSS) accounts with the same BoB branch for RsX and RsY, respectively. That evening, I received a call informing me that though both the accounts were opened, the amounts were wrong i.e., RsY for my wife and RsX for me! Regretting the issue, the officer said that correcting these mistakes was difficult because they were government accounts and requested my cooperation. I readily agreed. I reminded the Bank in an email (on 16 May 2023) that, although I cooperated with the Bank when they asked me to, my long-standing issue had not been resolved. This finally worked and most of my problems were taken care of within two days. 
I could understand and resolve this complex issue because I started my career in a manual environment, which ensured that my basic banking and accounting concepts are very clear. I doubt that a lay account-holder would have got a resolution.  
I have yet another issue pending in connection with the debit of interest to my daughter's savings account. I wrote to BoB on 27 May 2023 seeking a written acknowledgement of having recovered excess interest paid earlier and that nothing further is due from me. I have sent one reminder already, and do not know how many more would be required to ensure this is done!
If this is what happens to a bank employee with knowledge of its tech department, what would happen to others? Shouldn't 'ease of doing banking' be a crucial part of ease of living and way ahead of ease of doing business?
(Retired banker Abhay Datar is a consumer activist and an expert counsellor at Moneylife Foundation. He was a member of the Managing Committee of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) and also the treasurer at MGP for over two and a half years. After working at Bank of Baroda for 29 years, he retired as IT Manager. Mr Datar has resolved many cases related to banking and has also handled cases related to insurance and mediclaim.)
5 months ago
This is truly unfortunate. No one should receive treatment like this - leave alone an ex-employee who has worked for such a long tenure.

I believe the reason this continues to occur is due to lack of consequence as Madam Sucheta Dalal has mentioned correctly. Unless there are significant penalties on banks along with a quick redressal mechanism, we cannot really expect any change.

5 months ago
Dear Mr. Abhay Datar,

As mentioned by most of the people below, I am hurt with the mis-treatment that you have received. The Bank and for that matter, the employees should have handled this matter most appropriately especially, because you were the bank's staff.

Nonetheless, I recommend that you take this opportunity and approach Honorable Chief Minister of Maharashtra and explain to him your case. This matter needs some treatment needs action in the most appropriate manner & this will set an example.
I am sure, your matter will be addressed on a priority basis.
5 months ago
Dear Datar sab it is pained to see the misdeeds and mishandling done by Bob branch in your case. I read the article fully. When my wife was working corporation bank chamarajpet branch the officer concerned wrongly debited income tax and credited to it dept. When I saw form 16 to my surprise it was wrong. The whole process was given to am outsourcing ca firm since I was knowing official at cpc I could able to get the correct reason wrong entry of pam. So finally I took up with MD
In a very strong wordings and could
Able to solve it. The branch second line managers are not well conversant with rules and regulations.
Further recently during February
2023, Canara Bank, Ballal circle branch Mysore had debited twice
For change of Address and no maintenance of minimum balance
In sb account I took up the matter very seriously with branch which has not yeilded any results then to GMS and CMD with nasty wordings
Finally recently it was reversed.
This is the fate of poor costamours
I hope this Article should be sent to
Great Finance Minister to know how
Banking staff are doing mistakes without applying their presence of mind. These NATIONALISED BANKS
Are only for Fraudesters like Malkya Nirav Modi chokshi etc wherein
They avail thousanss crores Loan
Misuse it LEAVE the Country
And happily living there like Kings.
5 months ago
As a ordinary Bank customer,it will be very helpful for us to get the suggestions and solutions on any banking problems from philanthropic like Mr.datar.
Dilip Modi
5 months ago
To all the folks who have commented here, may I request that you send a mail to [email protected]. This will be viewed by Kanungo Committee that was specially set up by RBI to look into customer complaints' and they have made recommendations on this front. To help us ML/ Sucheta Dalal has even penned a sample letter for use. Use the link to read the ML Article and sample letter at the end.
5 months ago
Replied to vrchandran1979 comment 5 months ago
You are absolutely right and this is not only the problem with Bank of Baroda. It is an issue with all Public Sector Banks. I have had in all issues of carelessness, rudeness, unprofessional behaviour had after receiving no satisfactory had no choice but to threaten to go to the ombudsman or RBI directly. This brought results
5 months ago
5 months ago
Revenge is best served cold ????????????
5 months ago
Most of the nonsense in banks with regard to poor service is due to absence of meaningful work for the employees intended ..primary role of our banking system was to encourage savings with masses and timely appropriate sanction of small ticket loans to same set of people. In short helping people in the society who are least knowledgable. Both these are totally absent now making banking jobs a watchman role waiting to open gates. This has created huge stress on employees. High time, they reduce number of benches and employee count in each branch. This may reduce mental stress in banks for employees
5 months ago
Most, if not all Banks Private or otherwise, make more profits by defrauding customers, it's common & legal.
6 months ago
Yesterday itself I closed my Bob savings account because of lethargic service. My account was 20 years old. The officials don't care at all and behave robotic.
Replied to nikunjkaria comment 5 months ago
They prefer less work so if people close accounts with them it suits them just fine
6 months ago
You should have approached to RBI. I have problem with BANKS BOB, SBI , I made complaints to BANKING OMBUDSMAN and results were in my favour
Dilip Modi
Replied to blk0910.gimb comment 6 months ago
yes, thanks, I am waiting for few more days to allow 1 month time for Reply.
Dilip Modi
6 months ago
Abhayji – I share your sentiments. My father worked his entire life in BOB. He opened more overseas branches than may be what the current lot could name their locations. We have our account with BOB for the past 30 plus years out of loyalty. However, few weeks back, we received a universal mailer – RE KYC - asking us (including very senior citizens) to visit the branch with the paper copies of required documents. All this, despite Suchetaji/ ML actions taken during Covid 19 period against harassment by banks and the subsequent directives by RBI. Well, we complied by visiting the branch and complained. The staff replied, “sir it’s not us, its RBI rules”!!! We followed it up as a complaint to CMD, Regional Manager West Zone, Zonal Manager, branch manager, etc and all we got is a reply from Response office of CMD saying the online RE-KYC is under development! All other issues listed in our complaint, viz Risk Category applicable, Senior citizens, use of centralised data base, acceptability of a simple letter declaring “no change in Status”, etc, remain unanswered. Reminders followed by tweeter messages remain unanswered. Finally, we have sent the complaint to the Nodal Office but here too there has been no acknowledgement to our letter even after 9 days……. Jus hope the Kanungo committee recommendation are quickly implemented by RBI with heavy penalties for the offenders.
Replied to Dilip Modi comment 5 months ago
The concept behind REKYC is to know that the person is alive he/she themselves is using the account… so banker should ask the costumer to come… and that too not regularly once in two years only…. Some rules bankers should follow to make sure that no frauds will happen and if something happens by deviating RBI rule what ever the loss occurs will be recovers from the employee…. Customers also should understand the importance of some rules set by RBI.
Replied to sudhuuv comment 5 months ago
Surely this does not happen in banks overseas. You cannot expect senior citizens to run to the bank to show that they are alive. Then if the bank has a doubt they should visit the customer at home.
Replied to sudhuuv comment 5 months ago
Most of the REKYC is happening through emails and courier. Where is the sanctity of RBI rules??
6 months ago
While one sympathizes with the author, it must be appreciated that what can be easily corrected in a manual set up becomes extremely difficult when processes are computerized because issue has to be escalated to higher ups, who alone can grant authorization for back-end correction. Software follows a rigid protocol and what could have been done at branch level in a manual set up cannot be done in computerized environment.
6 months ago
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