HDFC Bank forcibly withdraws money from customer account in lieu of disputed credit card bills

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New Delhi, Oct 27 | HDFC Bank took Rs 56,763 from a customer’s account in an unauthorised manner to settle alleged debt on a credit card which was neither requested nor used.

This episode occurred at the HDFC Gurguram branch where the bank issued a credit card to a customer (name withheld) which was received but never used.

In 2015-16, the bank started sending bills of Rs 14,500 for a card which was never requested but received and not used. When the customer enquired there was no response.

When the customer approached the branch manager, he was asked to destroy the card and send it to the Chennai office which he did in his presence. However, to his chagrin the customer continued to receive credit card statements. The harassed customer then started writing mails to Aditya Puri, then chairman of the bank. While these mails were acknowledged there was no closure in the matter. The follow ups were constant on the pry of the customer but all to no avail. The bank started harassing the customer again in 2021 when the customer’s employer was called for credit card bills.

The bank then sent a legal notice for the credit card. The same customer also had a HDFC Standard Life policy and when the amount matured, HDFC Bank debited Rs 56,763 from the bank account in lieu of the credit card bills.

The bank is not permitted by RBI guidelines to hold money from the savings account to pay for this debt. This debt arose from a credit card and should have been treated as a separate issue. What is worse is that as part of the redemption process a cancelled cheque of Kotak Mahindra Bank was provided, HDFC Life continuously delayed the settlement saying it had not received the mail. When after repeated entreaties the amount was credited into the said account, said money evaporated.

The bank has not provided any statement of transactions and cash memo which is actually signed by the bank customer or any document which proves that the credit card was requested or used.

The Credit card is a Prepayment Plan Instrument and requires the bank to make sure that if instrument is issued it should be in possession of the rightful owner and not some frivolous record in the database. The card/instrument was received but disputed from the outset by the rightful owner.

The Bank and the collection agencies have made several attempts to call and harass the client which has been put on record. The recorded emails show that repeatedly a clarity was requested from the bank to show how the credit card was even used by the client. The bank has fled from its responsibility.

There is no record that the request was made for such a credit card. The credit card is not showing on the HDFC portal and no data is available to even challenge the claim. The bank has prevented the client from genuine information in order to bring clarification to the matter and has left the client to the scrutiny and illegal practice of various collection agencies.

The matter arose at HDFC Gurugram branch but the office to pursue the matter was addressed in Chennai for no specific reason. This was done to make it inaccessible for the client to clarify the issue. That the client repeatedly visited the Gurugram Branch to clarify the matter but the whole matter was denied without providing any justification since 2014.

As per RBI guidelines banks have a restricted access to exercise their right to lien. The bank cannot exercise a lien over a personal account of a customer. According to guidelines a credit card account is always separate from since a person acts in a different capacity than his understanding of the savings account.

The failure of the bank to bring clarity to the matter and suddenly decide to debit the savings account with a huge amount of interest is a deficiency of service as well as a malpractice which affects lakhs of customers on a daily basis.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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