A branch of HDFC bank has been fined Rs 2,000 by a consumer forum for contravening RBI instructions by failing to inform one of its customers about the increase in minimum balance to be maintained in his account and deducting charges from the customer's account.
The North District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said there was deficiency in service on the bank's part and ordered it to refund the minimum balance charges it had deducted from account holder Mahender Kumar Gola.
The forum arrived at the decision as the bank had not shown any proof that it had informed Delhi resident, Mr. Gola about the change, from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, in average quarterly balance to be maintained in his account.
"Nothing has been produced on record by opposite party (HDFC) as to what were the contents of note/information regarding minimum amount of average quarterly balance (AQB) displayed on any notice board or displayed for notification to the general public."
"Therefore, we come to the conclusion that the bank failed to intimate the complainant about change in AQB...which is certainly deficiency of service and in contravention of the instructions issued by RBI. It straightaway deducted amounts of Rs 723 and Rs 89 from account of the complainant...," a bench presided by Mr. Babu Lal said.
Mr. Gola in his complaint had said HDFC bank had approached him with an offer to open an account and had assured him that as long as he maintained an AQB of Rs 5,000, no minimum balance charges would be levied on him.
However, HDFC increased the AQB to be maintained to Rs 10,000 without informing him about it, he alleged, adding that the bank later deducted amounts of Rs 723 and Rs 89 from his account for not maintaining the new minimum balance.