Tuesday, January 01, 2008

local & lousy banking

It would be apt to start with wishes and greetings and all the luck for the New Year.

Instead, I’ll leave that for the world to figure it out for itself.

Right now, I’d like to talk about the world’s local bank. That in reality treats its customers in a ‘local’ manner. Here goes:

A month ago HSBC assured me that if I put in one lakh with their bank, they’d invest it further for me, assuring awesome returns. In return, I get a ZERO balance account, which I can use as I please.

So I obliged. Two weeks later, I’m happy – I see my money invested, I get regular junk communication from them, I open an online account and I feel so powerful and clever at having put my money in professional hands.

Alas, we fall victim to ‘lousy internal/external communications, lack of clarity on management policies’. And as usual, it is the small investor, which in this case, moi, who is left in anguish.

Two days before I am supposed to leave the country for a year, there are frantic calls from HSBC informing me that I’m too lowly to have a ZERO balance, Power Vantage account. Nope, I’m not rich enough. Either I put in another one lakh, or I forfeit all the advantages that accompany the powerful banking product.

Let’s not forget here, that the bank knows that I’ve taken a break, I’m a student now and I invested my savings with them for the period that I’ll be studying. But they don’t cut any slack to the customer, even if it is their fault at not having their policies communicated to me right at the very beginning. Forget that, internally they prefer to keep their front line employees in the dark about their products & services.

The premise of a good investment lies in acting on reliable information – in this case, the bank lacks this crucial information flow. So, should I trust them with my hard earned money?

Unfortunately, I don’t have anytime. I fly out tomorrow, so I’m obliged to hurriedly cut a cheque of 25000/- and the bank demotes me to a ‘MASS MARKET’ bank account. Ouch!

One thing’s for sure, once I get my MBA and earn an obscene pay packet – this bank gets no share of my pie.


perigos said...

so have you had that sweet little chat with HSBC (Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman had it perfected to an art)