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Old 11th May 2009, 15:50   #1
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Default Bank charges fine for keeping an account idle

One of my friend went to close a savings account with ABN Amro and take back Rs.10000 which was lying iddle for some time. To his shock, he was told that he needs to pay a fine of around Rs. 16000 for not operating the account. This is not a current account or a zero balance account. He was under the impression that he can keep the account iddle as long as there is a minimum balance maintained.
He is contemplating to take the matter to the consumer court. I am keen to hear from the experts if this is a common or only some banks have this claus printed and hidden (with 4 point font size) and make people sign unknowingly.
Suggestions are most welcome on the next possible course of action from my friend.
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Old 11th May 2009, 15:55   #2
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1) what was the min balance requirement for the type of a/c he held ?
2) what is the service charge levied by bank ( as displayed in their schedule of charges ) for non maintenance of the balance ?

with the above info do the math and you will have the answer

better way to approach this would be to speak to the manager over there. convince him to reverse above charges and say that you will try and maintain the a/c if good service is assured. give it a shot for a few months and if its not feasible to maintain the a./c, transfer your entire balance to your new a/c and THEN GO CLOSE THE A/C
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Old 11th May 2009, 15:59   #3
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I have an ABN AMRO savings account which requires me to maintain an average balance of 10K and 2 transactions a month to avoid any charges. I guess, your friend must have had a similar account. Ask him to clarify with the Bank officials on the kind of account he had with them and then negotiate to reverse any charges thereof.
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Old 11th May 2009, 16:19   #4
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Just tell the manager you will open a fixed deposit of 1 Lakh if he reverses the charges. After 15 days break the deposit and then stick to Nationalised Banks.
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Old 11th May 2009, 16:23   #5
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I guess we are talking about savings accounts. Two transactions a month. Mama Mia. Outright robbery.
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Old 11th May 2009, 16:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pedrolourenco View Post
Just tell the manager you will open a fixed deposit of 1 Lakh if he reverses the charges. After 15 days break the deposit and then stick to Nationalised Banks.
Do you really think they will fall for such a gimmick? Whats the guarantee that they will let you break the INR 1 lac FD and refund you the money in time?

Basically, you want to risk Rs 1 lac for Rs 10k? Doesnt make sense to me.

ABN Amro has been known to do this cheap trick since long. My brother also faced this and we went through a lot of official communication to get it reversed.

Go to the Grievance section of their website and send out a strong email to ALL LEVELS (Customer care, branch, Nodal Officer, Ombudsen). See the magic unfold!
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Old 11th May 2009, 17:16   #7
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I dont think any bank charge such amount for normal SB accounts. Unless it is a special account like minimum balance etc.

Yes, just check with the bank and send official communications [Registered post with acknowledgment is the best way to do]. These private banks are turning to a day light robbery guys...
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Old 11th May 2009, 17:28   #8
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The same thing happened with me though a much smaller amount but it just got deducted automatically the minute i deposited a cheque. They didn't even bother to inform.
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Old 11th May 2009, 17:36   #9
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How weird.

Money sitting in the bank with no transactions means the bank has to do no work. Why should they complain about that?

I am finding out about some very strange business practices in India
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Old 11th May 2009, 17:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
... he needs to pay a fine of around Rs. 16000 for not operating the account.
He is contemplating to take the matter to the consumer court.
Before approaching consumer courts, tell the manager that you plan to approach the banking ombudsman of the region regarding this matter. And post a pic of the look on his face here, as soon as you tell him that. Reserve Bank of India
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Old 11th May 2009, 17:54   #11
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I too have suffered from ABN Amro bank. I had a life time free credit card. But to my surprise, after almost 1.5 yrs, I had an outstanding balance of 16K. I totally freaked out and yelled at the bank manager. He said it was only free for 1st year. Then he said he would reverse the charges but I'll have to take 1 more ABN credit card, which I promptly refused. Only when I pressed on going to police/court, then that idiot got all charges reversed and I closed my CC A/C, and the relationship with the bank forever.
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Old 11th May 2009, 18:37   #12
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BTW, what happens to an account which has been lying idle for years without any money in it? There may be some negative balance as the charges for not maintaining the minimum balance. Will the bank keep the account open and keep on adding those charges till the world ends or they'll close such abandoned accounts after some years?
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:34   #13
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I think ABN Amro was one of the reasons for my UK bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, showing a massive loss. Perhaps they are trying to recoup it from India
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Old 11th May 2009, 22:47   #14
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16,000 rupees fine on a 10,000 rupee balance! Guna, your friend can relax. It may take him a while to get out of it, but there's no way he can be compelled to pay so much.

Before going to consumer court do make sure other avenues are exhausted first. If the branch manager gives it to him in writing that such amount is payable, then as mentioned above go to the ombudsman. From there follow the appeal procedure.
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Old 12th May 2009, 02:16   #15
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ABN Amro is rather weird. Their call centre is one of the worst I have come across.

I have a credit card from them and many years ago took one of their pre-approved loans (since closed). Their level of service is one of the worst I have come across, so I have stopped using their card.

They tried to get me to open a S.B. account with them but I found them using enough gobble-de-gook to make my head spin. I refused to open an account with them unless they came out with simpler and clearer rules, regulations, tariff card etc.

A Rs.16,000/- charge for account maintainance is clearly excessive. These charges are normally reversed once you ask for reversal. If they do not reverse the charges the only way forward is to approach the banking ombudsman and/or the consumer court.

O.T. : @ Thad: You serious about the Dutch getting the better of the Scots, esp. where money is concerned?

Cheers,
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