BANKING norms guarantee that each account holder will get a statement of account six monthly on his or her address registered with the bank branch. The mode of delivery depends on the understanding between the account holder and the bank, whether by e-statement or via courier service, as the case may be.
It is observed some banks, including some of the regular leading banks, ignore the sanctity of account statement. Either it is ‘misrouted’ or wrongly delivered or even not delivered at all. It is the duty of the bank to ensure the correct delivery to the right person of the closed envelop marked private and confidential containing the account statement.
Many accounts statements reflect foreign remittances by overseas Pakistanis to their families from time to time and handsome transactions and credit. In case of its delivery to an unauthorised person, there may be serious repercussions, which banks have to keep in view on their mailing system.
Certain field service staff of several courier companies treat courier mail as an ordinary postcard and drop courier mail at the wrong address without verification of the addressee and obtaining his signature.
When the matter is referred to the complaint resolution unit of the bank, the staff handling complaints simply go through the record of dispatch, take the side of the courier and dispose of the complaint without realising the concern and mental agony of the account holder, who had been waiting for the statement to crosscheck the transactions.
Why do account holders have to run after banks to get their statements of account and why do banks ignore the proper delivery of account statements in routine? Why is the sanctity and sensitiveness of account statements not being cared by banks?
The governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, banking ombudsman and the finance ministry are requested to realise the sanctity and sensitiveness of account statements and formulate a policy to ensure the correct delivery of account statements to the right person on due dates.
Hasan Adil Malik
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2020