Moneylife Impact: SBI Finally Pays Reimbursement of Medical Expenses to Customer Who Suffered Accident inside Branch Premises
Moneylife Digital Team 29 April 2022
In what is perhaps a first, State Bank of India (SBI) has agreed to reimburse the medical expenses of a customer who fell from an unstable ladder at a bank branch in Mumbai leading to severe injuries, surgery and hospitalisation. The Bank paid, only on the intervention of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at the highest level. Ironically, after having first rejected his claim and after the banking ombudsman too had rejected his claim for reimbursement. Unfortunately, there has been no compensation for the dogged battle fought by the customer with support from Moneylife Foundation. 
Readers may recall our article, earlier this month, about how how DS Ranga Rao, 71, a retired intelligence bureau (IB) officer, was fighting a dogged battle with State Bank of India (SBI) to even acknowledge the negligence which caused him to suffer a fall from an unsuitable ladder, leading to severe injuries and medical treatment. It may be recalled that Mr Rao’s claim for reimbursement of medical expenses had been rejected by both the SBI as well as the banking ombudsman without even an effort to speak to him. 
A top insurance expert, Mr Shrirang Samant told Moneylife that the Public Liability Act makes public liability insurance mandatory for all organisations. The concerned bank would have substantial insurance under the Act. Unfortunately, the customer was still denied the claim until the matter was taking up with RBI, at the highest level, after pointing to the Public Liability Act. 
SBI has paid over Rs5 lakhs to Mr Rao as reimbursement, which is lower than his costs. Worse, the disability he suffered due to the fall is permanent and is a fit case for granting him compensation, which has still been ignored by the Bank and could entail another legal battle for consumer action. Mr Rao says, “Moneylife Foundation has been the pillar of support for me and I thank them for their help."  
Mr Rao’s dogged battle will  serve as a template for such cases where customers are put to risk or injured due to actions or negligence by a bank, or any other organisation or establishment. 
Moneylife Foundation has requested RBI to announce a set of standard operating procedure (SOPs) to be followed when customers are injured while at a bank. The banking ombudsman, which has once again demonstrated little understanding of its role in protecting customers, also needs to be instructed on the handling of such cases. After all, this is not a stray case. Only recently the media reported the case of an 80-year-old who ended up locked overnight in a bank branch due to similar negligence. There will be hundreds of other cases where customers do not know they have a right to medical reimbursement or have their claims rejected in the absence of clarity from the banking regulator. 
We hope this will lead to a policy or circular from RBI so that each individual does not need to go through such a harrowing fight. That would be a great pro-customer initiative from the banking regulator.
2 weeks ago
Congratularions Money Life Foundation & Ms.Suchetha Dalal.
3 weeks ago
Please do not post irrelevant messages like Bitcoin investments.
4 weeks ago
The culture of acknowledging a complaint or grievance just does not exist at any level in the SBI today. There are templated queries and responses on the website and nothing more. No specific queries will be responded as knowledge of banking is confined to machines in front of the employees and executives and third party products are the favour of the bank officials. No matter whatever circulars the GoI and RBI issue. These circulars are meant for public consumption and not for action by the branch staff or even Head Office staff. Unless the change for better is driven on a mission mode by the Chairman and top management with review of results, customers have to live with such errands and every day, in one corner of the country or other, there are aggrieved customers. There are no fortnightly customer meets even that have been mandated by the RBI. RBI, perhaps, finding futility in monitoring the myriad of failures thought silence is golden.
Replied to yerramr comment 4 weeks ago
What you are saying is 100 % correct and we should accept that SBI is not a Customer friendly bank

But, in my case , they stole my money, Rs 92.56 laks , and refuse to give back my own money . Have you heard of any Bank in the World who would do such a thing ?

SBI is a very dangerous entity , so far they were arrogant, but now they have become Thieces and Thugs . They don't care what anyone says about their reputation
4 weeks ago
Mr Rao, I am happy you got Rs 5 laks , I am not so lucky , SBI has robbed me of Rs 92.56 laks .

Without my consent , they took Rs 92.56 laks from our Cash Credit account, paid it into a term loan account which was not payable in August 21 .

This was required as working capital to complete a 80% completed project after which we could claim our Rs 7.36 Crores. We are begging them , but they refuse to return our own money. Not only that, we have a fixed deposit of Rs 175 laks with them , still they will not return our own funds

Mr Rao, written many mails to SBI, including their CMD, but no response. SBI does not care for their own Customers . Mr Rao, can you connect me your contact in RBI, maybe if he speaks to SBI, something good may happen like it happened to you

Because, what SBI has done is a Criminal Act. We have filed a Criminal case against SBI Branch Manager under section Pcr code 406 and 420 . He will get summons from the Criminal Court Shortly

Replied to enia comment 4 weeks ago
My contact isn't anywhere in the banking system. My helpers are the Money Life Foundation team. Please approach them.
4 weeks ago
when one looks at the deeds and action of PSU sensible person feels sick
Replied to saharaaj comment 4 weeks ago
Correct, yet we want PSU
4 weeks ago
Happy for Mr. D S Ranga Rao
Replied to bajaj3 comment 4 weeks ago
Thank you.
Kamal Garg
4 weeks ago
The agonising silence of SBI and even Ombudsman is baffling. Kudos to MLF to take up the case relentlessly and help in getting justice to the victim due to bank's negligence.
4 weeks ago
weldone moneylife, as usual you have risen to help a helpless vperson. hope he also receives compensation for mental agony he suffered.
4 weeks ago
A case well-supported by Moneylife, but the article doesn’t mention any details about that unsuitable/unstable ladder. The reader is at a loss where on earth an SBI branch in Mumbai would ask a customer to walk up/down a ladder? I can only think of a remote rural SBI branch, under construction yet, using a ladder, but the bank staff even there would stabilise a ladder before asking a customer to use it.
Replied to jvyakhmi comment 4 weeks ago As my locker was on the top row of the shelf and to reach which I had to use the ladder. As I went to the bank to operate it after two and a half years of the Covid crisis, I climbed it as usual not knowing its unstable condition that might have caused during the covid break. But the bank got the ladder fitted with brakes quietly after the hue and cry raised after my fall.
Replied to rangarao.ds comment 4 weeks ago
That explains. Thank you. My best wishes to you for good health
Replied to jvyakhmi comment 4 weeks ago
The article provides a link to the original article in the second paragraph. This is regular journalistic practice in the digital world so that follow on stories are easy to read and don't get into too much history and background.
4 weeks ago
Under the eminent guidance of Shri Shailesh Gandhi & Moneylife we all, the elite class of Indian citizens, need to strive hard to stop violations of RTI act, insist faithful implementation of RTI act & thus eradicate corruption in India.
4 weeks ago
When the concerned agencies like the RBI AND SBI fail so miserably, it is time for the Finance Minister to intervene suo moto and set things right. The complainant must be compensated for his permanent physical disability and mental stress to himself and his family. So also in the case of the customer who was left locked in the Bank's Locker room for the whole night due to Bank's negligence.
Replied to deepak.narain comment 4 weeks ago
A far cry. Unless our own bigwigs meet the same fate, they don't realize the enormity and gravity of the situation.
4 weeks ago
congrats to moneylife team a different organisation providing knowledge and empowering our people
4 weeks ago
The splendid silence of the SBI authorities is the only answer to my repeated pleas for compensation not only for the physical injuries I suffered which now last a lifetime but for the incalculable and the wholly uncalled for trauma and inconvenience and disturbance caused to me and my family. After all, I am a commoner, not enough to influence the bank to be broadminded as they happen to be more often than not in certain big-ticket cases. But for the good offices of the MLF, I would not have got even the reimbursement. I am highly grateful to the MLF.
4 weeks ago
Congratularions Money Life Foundation & Ms.Suchetha Dalal.
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