Mohan Thulasingam

Banking has become an essential part of our life. Money matters everywhere. It’s the lifeline for banks. Even the richest person needs to keep money with a bank only. The dealings with banks and conduct of accounts go a long way  in determining the benefits a person derives from them. There are many opportunities to prove oneself as  a good and loyal customer. However, the five aspects discussed here cover the avenues for developing pleasant relationships.

1) Opening of account: Get the list of documents necessary for opening an account and seek the clarifications and guidance. Never be in a hurry when opening new account. Banks are required to verify the genuineness, and confirm the credentials of the person or firm opening the account for the first time. No bank will issue a debit card or check book on the same day of opening the account. So, have patience for the banker to comply with the systems and rules in vogue. However, keep in touch with the bank to know the status and give any information or clarification when sought.

2) Operating the account: Regularly and properly transact as per the rules and regulations of the account. You cannot use any account for illegal or unlawful activities like Smuggling, Terrorism, etc.. Maintaining the account with good balance earns not only interest, but goodwill from the bank. Do not forget to send greetings or compliments on special occasions like New Year eve, Festival, etc.. In case of emergency or inability to deposit funds in the account, talk to the banker about your situation and seek help. A prudent banker will never turn down a valid request.

3) Personal contacts: At times, you might be visiting your banker to avail a service or for some other purpose. This is the opportunity to impress the banker. Politeness, Clarity and Precision are sure to produce long-term benefits. Even when the response from the banker is not as expected by you, try to convince by projecting the issues and seek the right solutions. Even if the bank’s rules do not permit what you request, its officials will make honest efforts to get done. Nonetheless, do not hesitate to appreciate the sincere efforts of the bank and express thanks every time your purpose is satisfied.

4) Loan repayment: A common mistake committed by many borrowers is the failure to repay the loan on time. A borrower, if necessary, should seek the extension of time for repayment. No bank will decline a genuine request. However, the banker will neither excuse any default after such extension nor consider any repeated request for extension. Similarly, when there are changes in residence, job, phone number and other things, keep your bank informed of such changes by email or letter. These are courtesy and duty as well. So, the banker will be able to direct the future communications to the new address and phone. Banks take legal actions only when the loanee doesn’t  respond to their notices or when the latter’ house is found locked at the time of visits by the banker or his agent.

5) Helping the Bank: Bringing business by way of new deposits and good customers makes a bank value your relationship. Likewise, your voluntary efforts to settle or recover the sticky loans by the defaulter earn reputation and rapport from the bank. Sometimes, buying an asset auctioned by the bank indirectly enhances the relationship.

One customer brought a brand new car to the bank office to show his new acquisition and thank the bank for guiding him to invest in a mutual fund that matured into a huge sum and enabled to buy the prized car. The staff at the bank felt proud of such good customers. Some people tend to deal with a particular bank for decades together. Even the fourth generation of a family prefers to continue with the same bank. The reason for such loyalty is the RELATIONSHIP with the bank.

Honest and transparent dealings are certain to yield lasting results and recognition. Anywhere and always.

(Author is a Ex-Banker and can be contacted on tmohan0311@hotmail.com)

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