Rapid expansion and modernization in the Pakistani banks in recent years has not changed the mindset of some big banks/policy-makers of the banks regarding the customers’ facilitation. On Feb 22, 2018, this writer visited the MCB G-8/4 Corporate and I&T Center branch to get bank statement of my account. I was maintaining my account with NIB for over a decade but in 2017, the MCB has acquired the NIB Bank and merged it with the MCB. This merger has opened a chapter of embarrassment for me and other customers of the NIB that I will discuss in this column.
I needed my bank account statement to submit it along-with other documents to apply for a scholarship of my son who has shown outstanding result in O’Levels and wants to apply for a prestigious scholarship being offered by a famous and high-profile Lahore-based university. Why the MCB officials refused to give me statement of bank account statement is very interesting? I have migrated to Islamabad two years ago, from Karachi and maintaining some accounts with different banks in Karachi. My Account Number is 0045-1826123 – West Wharf Road Branch, Karachi.
First of all, a bank officer of above mentioned MCB branch said that the bank statement is issued by the mother branch. When I told him that my branch is in Karachi, he said that your Karachi branch will issue the statement and we cannot issue it here (in Islamabad) as it is not the policy of the bank. On his advice, I met the Branch Manager Qaiser Iftikhar Janjua and told him that I needed my bank statement on urgent basis to apply for a scholarship for my son. He too gave the same reply “we cannot issue the statement, it is not the policy of the MCB Bank and that only the mother branch can issue the statement,” he said. When I told him that I have got my bank statements from United Bank branch in G-8 Markaz and Bank Al-Falah branch in G-9 Markaz in Islamabad and both the branches did not ask me to go to Karachi to get bank statements.
The MCB Manager said that MCB Bank’s policy is different than those banks. When I said that would you/your bank give me the tickets to travel to Karachi to get the bank statements, he smiled sarcastically and said “it is not the policy of the bank”. So what is the policy of the bank – sheer embarrassment for the customers? If the UBL and Bank Al-Falah branches in Islamabad are issuing bank statements of Karachi-based accounts without any hesitation, then why MCB is not doing this facilitation. What is the logic behind this policy of the MCB that is annoying the customers? Why MCB is not going along with other banks in facilitating its customers?
Can you believe that the MCB is among the top two private commercial banks in Pakistan and this is the way this bank is pursuing its customers’ facilitation policy. A problem for me and my family is that March 1, 2018, is the last date to apply for the scholarship being offered by the Lahore-based prestigious university to the A’Level 1st year students who have obtained more than 80% marks in O’Levels in 2017. It is the requirement of the university that the parents of the students must submit all their bank statements with the scholarship application. Now I have no other choice, but to submit the application without having my MCB bank statement.
Another problem that I am facing from the date the MCB has acquired the NIB Bank is that I am not getting the bank’s SMS alerts about the amount of money that is credited into my account every month. The MCB Bank is sending me SMS each time when it deducts charges from my bank account, but the bank’s system becomes dumb and deaf when some money is credited into my account. MCB helpline officials are terming it a technical problem, but how is it possible that the bank is sending SMS for deduction charges and not sending SMS for receiving credit into my account. This is very pathetic policy and embarrassing system of the MCB bank that must be changed. I hope the State Bank of Pakistan would also look into this anti-customers approach of the MCB.
The writer is Chief Editor of Weekly Corporate Ambassador/Columnist of The Financial Daily and a Founding-Member of Karachi Editors Club. Readers facing problems with any bank can share their issues with us at the following emails: Syed Manzar Naqvi Executive Editor email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org)