Friday, June 21, 2013

BANK SCAMS: 3 private banks have to compensate customers

IT secretary Rajesh Aggarwal has pulled up three private banks in two different cases and ordered them to compensate customers who lost money due to fraudulent transactions.

Rs 48,640.81 was debited from the salary account of Rajendra Ade in HDFC Bank. He received a text message about the transaction on his cellphone at 1.57 am on October 18, 2012, followed by another message that his card had been blocked temporarily as the bank could not reach him to confirm the transaction.

Ade filed complaints with the bank and Sangvi police in Pune. The bank responded on October 29 that the transaction was identified as suspicious and an SMS alert sent to his cellphone. Since there was no feedback, Ade's card was blocked and a message sent to him at 2.23 am.

"The bank has nowhere on record placed facts that would demonstrate that they tried to proactively inform the customer by calling on his mobile number registered with the bank, especially when the time of the transaction is such the customer may not see SMS. HDFC systems raised an alert which was communicated by an SMS in the middle of night, but a more proactive approach would have been desirable," said Aggarwal, ordering the bank to pay Rs 40,000 to Ade within a month, failing which monthly compound interest of 12 per cent would be chargeable.

HDFC Bank could not be reached for comment.

In the second case, Rs 14,000 was withdrawn from the Yes Bank salary account of Kiran Yadav in December last year using an Axis Bank ATM in Vapi and a Union Bank of India ATM in Vadodara. After receiving a complaint, Yes Bank contacted Axis Bank and Union Bank of India for CCTV footage of the ATMs.

Axis Bank footage showed a person withdrawing money with his face covered. Union Bank of India said they did not have CCTV footage "as data was overwritten over a period of three months".

However, it came to light that Yes Bank got in touch with Union Bank of India immediately after receiving the complaint. Aggarwal observed it was Union Bank of India's responsibility to preserve the footage in question.

"During the hearing, it was found that officials of Axis Bank and Union Bank of India were very casual in their approach. Axis Bank was unable to provide explanation as to why it failed to check the CCTV footage in which the fraudster clearly managed to come inside the ATM with his face covered and withdraw money. Union Bank of India not only did not provide CCTV footage, their representative misrepresented to the court that the time by which they got the information, their CCTV footage was overwritten," states his order.

The banks have been ordered to equally share the compensation of Rs 20,000 payable to Yadav within a month.

While Axis Bank could not be reached for comment, an email to Union Bank of India received no reply.
Gautam S Mengle : Mumbai, Fri Jun 21 2013, 01:54 hrs Small Large Print

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