Thursday, January 7, 2010

Credit card blocked by chance!

Can a bank force a customer holding a free debit card to change over to, and apply for, a credit card and recover the initial charges? What is
the procedure for getting re-credit of the said charges debited to my salary savings banks account? I have neither consented, nor applied for the said credit card dispatched to my residence. If the bank does not agree to re-credit the amount to my savings bank account (correction entry), what is the legal recourse?

Banking cannot be done by force. Your bank should have obtained your consent and an application in writing before issuing the credit card. As per RBI guidelines, in case an unsolicited card is issued and activated without written consent of the recipient, and the latter is billed for the same, the card issuer has to not only reverse the charges forthwith but also pay a penalty amounting to twice the value of charges reversed. In addition to this, you can also approach the banking ombudsman who would determine the amount of compensation payable by the bank, ie, for loss of complainant’s time, expenses incurred, harassment and mental anguish suffered by the person.

I hold an SBI credit card and I’ve paid all the valid dues. A year ago, SBI Cards offered me an easy encash facility loan, and since then I have been regularly paying the EMIs. Now, with 2-3 instalments remaining, I requested SBI Cards to send me the details of EMIs paid by me since last one year, but they have not obliged, stating that they do not have such a system in place. In the meantime, they discontinued monthly statements. When I insisted, they levied finance charges and late payment charges for the same. This apart, they blocked my card, and are threatening to take legal action and share my credit history with CIBIL. Please advise .

Banking Codes & Standards Board of India has released a code of the bank’s commitment to customers, which has been adopted by most banks . According to code 8.14.3, the credit card issuer is required to offer free-ofcost details of credit card transactions every month either via mail or the Internet. Moreover, the issuer is supposed to dispatch the credit card statement on a predetermined date every month. You may take up the matter with the bank’s nodal officer, and if need be, these violations may be brought to the notice of BCSBI and RBI. The issuer might have charged interest for overdue amount and late payment charges as per their terms and conditions, and not because of your insistence for a statement. You should bring out the facts to the nodal officer’s notice and if there is no resolution within 30 days of