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Monday, February 6, 2012

ATM card delivery fraud: ICICI Bank fined

ICICI bank has been directed by a consumer forum to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation to one of its consumers whose ATM card was delivered to a wrong hand, who withdrew money from the account fraudulently.

The ATM card landed at a wrong address and was used for withdrawing over Rs 48,000 from the savings account of a person, who was waiting for the same to be delivered at his address.

A District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (Central) gave its ruling in the favour of account holder Datta Ram, saying that the act of the private bank caused "mental agony and harassment" to him for its failure to return the money to his account in spite of information that it was not withdrawn by him using the ATM card.

The consumer forum also held that non-delivery of ATM card and withdrawal of money from the account of the customer by somebody else amounts to "deficiency of service" by the bank.

"The demand of Rs 48,900 from the complainant and then the act of the bank to withdraw that amount from his saving account amounts to deficiency in service," B B Chaudhary, President of the Central Delhi consumer forum, said in the order.

"On account of the act of the bank, the complainant had to send legal notice and suffered harassment, pain and mental agony," the panel said while also awarding him Rs 5,000 towards litigation charges.

The complainant had said that on November 15, 2008 he received SMS alert that Rs 48,900 was withdrawn from his savings account through his ATM card and he had immediately informed the bank that he never received the card and thus he could not have done the transaction.

The bank denied that it caused any deficiency in service and contended that the ATM card and PIN were duly delivered to the complainant and that only he or someone to whom he allowed access to the ATM card withdrew the money and the bank cannot be held liable.

The forum brushed aside the bank's argument that it had delivered the ATM card and the PIN number to Datta Ram, saying that the delivery sheet of the courier firm used by the bank shows that the card and the PIN number were not delivered to Datta or any member of his family.

"The bank has failed to place or file affidavit of any authorised officer of the courier service or the delivery man to confirm that card was delivered to the complainant or any of his family members.

"In the circumstances, we hold that the bank has failed to establish that ATM card or its PIN was delivered to the complainant or any of his family members," the panel added.

The complainant had contended that the delivery sheet bore the name of a Datu Ram, but without his complete address and that the mobile number on the delivery sheet belonged to a third person and not the complainant.

Source: Financial Express


Savings Accounts Rates said...

Thanks for sharing this news. Hopefully banks out there learned a lesson from this. On a side note, events like this should not deter anyone from saving money. It still pays to have funds stashed away for emergencies.

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