First of all let me apologize to all the bank managers and officers who I have criticized in the past. Not that they have suddenly turned saints, but I have turned wiser.

It was very easy for me to get frustrated with the bank managers – PSU or otherwise – so I used to criticize them. I realized that it was easy to criticize and far more difficult to KNOW why these smart, nice people suddenly turn demons. So I decided to spend an hour on the bench of a PSU bank at 9.30 am (9.40 to 10.45 is what I actually did).

One Senior Manager (would be like an Assisstant Branch Manager) is the person I chose.

9.40: One man walked to him with 6 passbooks, an ATM card, Pin number, and a cheque. He wanted to know which account he could deposit the cheque.

1. can i deposit this cheque in this account?
Manager: No. His name is not there in this account.

2. Then in which account can I deposit…
So the manager had to check, he did it.

Is this the account in which my locker charges are debited, ok what is the balance, if i deposit the cheque can i transfer it to another account (sure, after 2 days), why can I not transfer it NOW?

the client was asking stupid questions, but very politely. The manager was also replying very politely.

9.48 – second client ‘Sir I want to do this ASBA application for Rs. 500,000’ – today is the last day.

Manager: Please ask the Branch manager, I will just certify the balance….

9.50 an irritated manager of a hospital walks and says ‘Our 4 accounts have not been updated for 4 days, we have no clue whether our cheques have passed, what is the balance, etc….I have given a letter to the branch manager…’

Manager: Madam it will get done today, I will email u the statement – MY PRINTER IS NOT CONFIGURED TO THE CENTRAL processing, so I am unable to print….

She went away a little confused..angry and upset.

I exceeded my brief and asked the lady: Do you not have Internet banking? SHE SAID NO.

10.10am: One man came for a Rs. 3.5 crore draft (yes you got the figure right) – with ONLY ONE SIGNATURE of a current account holder.

Manager said: give me an application (it was a Semi Govt undertaking to which the payment was being made)…and ask your OTHER signatory to come to the branch and sign the cheque BEFORE WE HAND OVER the draft.

10.15 – ‘Sir I want to update my KYC what should I do?

Manager: please take the form from the 1st desk, fill it up, bring the original and self attested copies and photos. (all said in one breath)

10.20: People coming for various other things…..

I was losing patience at the clients, but the manager was cool….

Hats off to the sincere, hard working, honest and efficient managers / clerks / officers of the banking system.

You are the heroes….we find it easy to criticize….

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  2. 90% of bank managers are good, polite and well behaved. The rest 10% give them a bad name. You should see them work with outdated technology, ZERO training, printers not in sync with the system, peons and clerks who are unionised, and corrupt bosses. I do not think I would want to be a bank employee in a PSU bank.

  3. Subra,

    Even I did witness similar story when I went to meet one of my relative, who happens to be a Bank Manager…. She was polite to everyone and anyone who came to meet…

  4. Questions are stupid, if you know the answers. There is no such prerequisite for a bank or hospital/ doctor (for that matter anywhere else) that the clients/ customer/ patients should be knowledgeable and wise in your area of expertise. So as a ‘service provider’ (if you believe in this term), you should be ready to face these type of questions which sound basic (stupid?) to you. It happens everywhere. May be the same bank manager would ask far more basic (stupid?) questions when he goes for a health check-up.

  5. I understand subra, but these managers need to mind their manners too.

    THIS IS THEIR JOB, to deal with customers politely. They are not doing social service.

    I’ve never seen attitude given at private banks like ICICI, ING, IndusIND.

    But in PSU Banks, everyone other than the branch manager, treats you as it they are doing you a favour.
    Worst banks: CANARA BANK, Bank of India (slightly improving with new recruits), PNB, IOB

    Go to non-metro cities and the attitude gets worse.

  6. Subra sir,
    Its good watching human beings doing good and applauding them even better. However, these experienced henchmen never loose a chance to earn what they think and don’t think they deserve.
    You will see 2 persons behaving very differently inside the same premises may you stayed longer.

  7. Haha! Usually PSU bank managers are better to deal with than other employees. Just wanted to share one funny story- I went to OBC for locker opening and had to open an account for it. As I was going through the maze of opening account (read going from one counter to other), another customer asked me, “Why are you WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY opening an account here?”.
    The clerk became very angry listening to it and started fighting with this customer. I was laughing so hard. Anyway after I mediated and doused the fire and got my work done. I jokingly asked this customer, “Why did you WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY take this panga?”
    Till the time I left, this customer was still apologising in bank as the clerk refused to serve him.

  8. My experience. I really pity the employees of the State Bank of India, something as simple as summing up the interest of the Home Loan for an yearly statement was done manually using a calculator and then the total witten with a Pen on the statement.
    Why wouldnt the folks who would have given the requirements to the software creator thought of this. And the software vendor (I guess TCS) why wouldnt someone at their end think of adding a simple feature in the software. Better still I would expect them to enable me to just download that from the internet banking account with a “whom so ever” disclaimer.
    They were leaders with allowing even home loan accounts to have a netbanking account and ability to transfer money to this account using NEFT, very user friendly, however to their own employees and later end of year I had to visit the bank just to get a Interest Certificate to be shown to the account dept of my company. Strange.

  9. Hi SS,(subra sir)
    I tho’ the article was a sarcastic, take on job profile of serior position like ast. Brch. Mgr. Pity his position and envy all the others who are having a goood time at this branch at the cost of ast. Branch mgr.

    am sure there would be clints who came to A.B.M for passbook entry work too. High time, PSUs consider revenue per employee and what really are others doing what they are expexted to do.

    offcourse as B.M or A.B.M you need to step in, but thats only called for when others are on leave.

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