Sunday, October 17, 2021

Noida: PNB slaps 15.91 Lakh penal charges on MSME, for delay is submission of stock statement

If you are a MSME and have your account in Punjab National Bank (PNB), this news article is for you. Kindly audit your monthly interests charged on your CC account and tally it with your sanctioned rates using daily balance formula. There is a very good chance that PNB is charging you heavy penal interests arbitrarily and is hiding it inside “Monthly Interest Charges” and you are not aware of it. This may be running in lakhs of rupees.

Public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) in Noida, Uttar Pradesh has charged INR 15.91 lakhs penal charges on MSME, for delay is submission of stock statement. After no resolution from Bank, actually no response at all from PNB, the victim MSME company has moved to RBI for refund from PNB.

MSMEs are strongly advised to carefully audit their monthly bank account statements using daily balance formula.

In the words of the victim:

Normally MSME customers trust government banks and do not tally the monthly interest charges levied and that is where the bankers like PNB do the trick. PNB does not declare monthly penal charges, if any, in its monthly bank statement but hides it inside the single entry of “Monthly Interest Charges”; just one entry on the last day of the month. A MSME customer can never get the break-up of “Monthly Interest Charges” from branch or details of any additional extra penal charges if applied by the bank. PNB makes crores of rupees out of this. They simply do not tell the customers about the Penal charges applied by the bank, actually they hide it and hide it intentionally and purposefully.

What RBI guideline states?

The Central bank guideline clearly states that no charges can be levied on any customer without prior knowledge of the customer. RBI Ombudsman can accept charges under “Clause 8(1)(k) levying of charges without adequate prior notice to customer” and direct the bank to refund all such amounts.“

How does it happen?

PNB in its statements to its clients simply passes one entry by name ”Monthly Interest Charges” on the last day of the month. If they have charged any penal charges on any account actual or imagined, the same will be hidden inside this single entry which MSMEs normally cannot find out.

How this over charging works?

PNB like any other bank has a system of submission of Stock Statements for calculation of drawing power (DP) in the CC limit for its customers. In case the PNB staff does not make the entry of your submitted Stock Statement in their bank software, the system will start charging penal charges on your account. It will keep charging till the staff makes entry. The customer is getting penalized but does not come to know and hence it normally goes un noticed.

How did PNB respond to this specific case?

In words of the victim:

PNB response has been at best “NO response” or evasive. the CEO and Managing Director office does not even entertain any complaints, does not believe in responding to letters, even when sent through registered speed posts. No response is the respond of PNB. From the branch to any level we visited and met officials no resolution came at all. They admit, yes there is over charging but on reversal or refund they say it is management decision.

As far as management is concerned, the CEO & MD is mute. Does not do anything.

How to complain?

If you find that you are being charged extra, arbitrarily, you should approach RBI and File a complaint with the Ombudsman against the bank. This link is available below.

Disclaimer: This story is based on the victims account and PNB’s side of response has not been received in spite of news express editor’s multiple efforts to reach out to CEO & MD office of PNB.

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