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PNB penalised in consumer case for non-renewal of term deposits
The Hindu, June 5, 2019

Directed to pay Rs. 8.9 lakh in interest amount as well as compensation of Rs. 40,000

A consumer forum directed Punjab National Bank (ONB) to pay interest amount to the tune of Rs. 8,90,892 on a complainant’s deposits with it and a compensation of Rs. 40,000 after it found that fixed deposit amounts were not automatically renewed.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum Hyderabad – II was dealing with a complaint filed by Yerra Vani (49), a resident of Madhapur. 17 deposits worth Rs. 1.16 crore

The complainant stated that she made 17 term deposits, totalling Rs. 1.16 crore, under the Capital Gains Account-B for a period of one year at 9% rate of interest.

Later. she found out that the bank had not paid her a differential interest amount. Upon contacting the bank, she realised that her deposits after the maturity period were not renewed.

She cited information printed on the reverse side of the bond which stated that in the absence of any instructions to the contrary, the deposit shall be renewed automatically for a similar period.

She said that despite bringing this to the bank's attention, the issue was not resolved. Later, the Banking Ombudsman rejected her claim. Bank denies claims

On its part, the bank denied all claims. It stated that funds lying in the Account B type of accounts cannot be renewed automatically. The customer is required to instruct the bank in case of a renewal and that there is no differential interest on such deposits. It also claimed serious violations of the Income Tax Act on part of the complainant.

Taking note of the evidence placed on record and arguments, the forum stated that as the funds are with the bank, the complainant is entitled to interest at the rate of 9% per annum on the maturity amount per annum.

‘Deficient acts’ “Party (bank) is liable for its deficient acts in discharging its statutory obligations cast upon it and that amounts to adoption of unfair trade practices, for which we are answering these points in favour of the complainant,” the forum noted.

It said that the bank did not even realise whether the deposits were auto-renewal system.

The forum also directed the bank to pay Rs. 10,000 as costs.

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