Imagine, one fine day, over 1 lakh are withdrawn from your account–without your knowledge or involvement.
We for one would have definitely had a mini heart attack.
But it happens, way more frequently than any of us would be comfortable to admit. And in most cases, the bank refuses liability, pinning the blame on the consumer and washing their hands off the issue completely.
A consumer forum is New Delhi, however, decided to depart from the norm and pinned the blame squarely on the bank, making them pay up not only the lost amount but also compensation for harassment.
A consumer, holding a salary account in ICICI Bank, received 5 SMS alerts in January 2009, each relating to withdrawal of Rs.25,000 from his salary account, totalling Rs. 1.25 lakh, within minutes. He immediately contacted the bank, which, after conducting a probe, informed him that some fraudsters had removed the money from his account.
The complainant had alleged that the bank was negligent with regard to safety of customers’ confidential information, including password, and as a result he suffered financial loss. The bank obviously denied that it was negligent, and contended that the possibility of involvement of the consumer himself in the alleged fraud cannot be ruled out.
The forum however was less than sympathetic towards the bank considering the idea of the consumer himself sharing the information absurd and considered the possibility of involvement of the bank employees in the fraud was much more probable. The forum held that there was gross negligence and deficiency in service on the part of the bank which caused the heavy financial loss to the complainant and directed the bank to return him the amount along with compensation of Rs.50,000.
ICICI Bank to pay Rs.1.75 lakh for customer’s loss due to fraud (Livemint)