Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Welcome Indian banking customer and BTW scr...w you

I want to let off some steam here on the current SBI strike. I have my home loan through SBI while I do all my regular banking through ICICI. For all their wrinkles, there is one thing about ICICI that I like the most - the ability to transfer money to any bank account in India electronically for free. Most other banks hit you with charges in one form or another but ICICI is a true blue customer friendly service for free. So anyway, coming back to my rant, I have scheduled my home loan payment from my ICICI to my SBI loan account to automatically happen on the first of the month. This month, the scheduled transfer was rejected by SBI. This is an EFT (electronic fund transfer) that is routed via RBI to a computer system within SBI. I would imagine that there is really no manual operation involved here since a bank that is as large as SBI cannot possibly be doing this manually.

So who decided to shut down the automated computer systems that process these transactions? What if this was not a home loan but a financial payment to pay a college tution or a payment for a hospitalization service ie. a critical need for the customer? Why did they decide to play Gods? I suppose such things are not a big deal for them anyway. They are after all a publicly traded company and they have shareholders who can be taken for a ride while they are busy messing with their customer's money.

Morale of the story - Private banks will potentially run away with your money while the nationalized ones will simply sit on it and torment you. So dont keep all your eggs in one basket.