My Marriage is on Hold due to finance Minister- Bank Privatisation

It was almost final and we were expecting a final “yes” from the girl side when our finance minister presented the budget. In the budget, the finance minister proposed the privatization of two banks and she would also not tell which banks are going to be privatized as if it is a matter of national security. I was the first victim and my “could be” in-laws are in doubt now. They wanted someone in government service and now my marriage is on hold.


I am working as a manager in a nationalized bank and it could be my bank that is going to be privatized. In that case, I’ll have to “apply” to some other girl for the marriage and qualify for the family entrance test. The worst part is that in this case you even don’t know the syllabus. I don’t think there is much difference in the working conditions of public and private sector bank employees except the fact that people feel that government employees are getting “Son-in-law” treatment at their working places. They don’t know that our working conditions are no better than private-sector employees and we are also underpaid. It is only the demand of family and society for a government job due to which we end up here.

As my uncle (Vichola) was pressing hard for the marriage, my “could be” father-in-law Sh. Anmol Ratan said that he’ll visit my office as well as a branch of private sector bank and will then decide. He might be thinking to use the same formula as we use in our work that in the end, he will say that the competent authority (his wife) is not agreeable to the proposal (marriage).

We reached the branch of a private sector bank that had just released its quarterly results. With the same amount of business (Deposits + Advances) as our bank, this bank had made almost ten times the profit of our bank. While our bank had made good operating profits, most of the profit had gone into provisions for bad loans.

We were greeted by a well-dressed young lady at the entrance. Her name was “Ms. Rosy”. Sh. Anmol Ratan likes to be well dressed and it makes the staff more interested in him. The staff can see their branch achieving the business targets for the month. Ms. Rosy requests us to sit while she was talking to some other customer.

The Customer: But Mam, I have been told that I can avail Modi Loan from any bank and this branch is near to my home. (I observed that he was talking about “Mudra loan”, a Government scheme, in which no additional security is required)

Ms. Rosy: Sir, this scheme has been launched by the government and you can avail the loan from government banks. The Government has already provided money to the government banks. I request you to immediately contact any government bank before the amount is exhausted.

It made sense for him and he left the branch in a hurry as he was going to miss a train. I thought now he will demand the loan from a government bank as a matter of right and if the loan goes bad at a later stage the bank will have to make substantial provisions for it. Then the government will say look the private sector banks are making profits and are managing NPA’s well and more banks shall be privatized.

Ms. Rosy: How may I help you, Sir?

Anmol Ratan: My name is Anmol Ratan and I want to shift my saving account and FDRs of Rs. 50 lacs to some other bank as I am not satisfied with my existing baker. Further, I want to inquire about a business loan.

I noticed the look in the eyes of Ms. Rosy as she was thinking that your name represents what you mean to us, Mr. Anmol Ratan.

Ms. Rosy: Sure Sir, we offer the best interest rate and best services in the industry. You will get a dedicated relationship manager who’ll take care of all your needs. First, what'll you like to have tea or coffee?

Anmol Ratan: No Thanks. What is the minimum balance requirement in a Savings account?

Ms. Rosy: Sir you are required to maintain a quarterly average balance of Rs. 10000.

Anmol Ratan: But the same is Rs. 1000 for Government banks.

Ms. Rosy: Sir it shall be waived if you maintain a minimum deposit of Rs. 1.00 lac and as you shall be maintaining the deposit balance of above that amount you will not be required to maintain QAB of Rs. 10000.

Anmol Ratan: So how do students and poor people maintain such a high balance.

Ms. Rosy: Sir they mostly deal in public sector banks although we offer some no-frills accounts. Further, it helps us to serve valuable customers like you well.

I knew what no-frills they shall be offering after what happened sometime earlier in the case of the “Mudra account”

Ms. Rosy: Also as you shall be maintaining a deposit account you shall get a complimentary “Credit Card”.

Anmol Ratan: But I do not require a credit card. I mostly use Debit Card.

Ms. Rosy: Sir, it is free with no charges till you maintain a minimum amount of deposit. Further, you can pay your bill before the due date without any extra cost. You also get offers on our credit card.

I can see that Sh. Anmol Ratan was getting impressed. He has never been treated that well. He decided to shift his FDR’s to that branch. As Sh. Anmol Ratan was not holding complete KYC documents, Ms. Rosy said that she’ll get them collected from his residence. Further, I can see relief in the eyes of Ms. Rosy as it will help her in achieving the monthly targets. I had been told by one of my friends from a private sector bank that the bank has fired many employees for cost-cutting and those who have not achieved the targets were the first ones. Job security is a major concern in the private sector.

Ms. Rosy: Sir you also wanted to enquire about a business loan?

Anmol Ratan: I own a Jewellery shop and I am availing Cash Credit limit of Rs. 5.00 Crore from Janta national bank. I want to know the interest rate you can offer. Further one of my friends is setting up a new housing project.

Ms. Rosy: Sir, I don’t think I shall be able to help in the case of the new business venture of your friend. The bank, at present, is not taking exposure in Greenfield projects (New Projects). However, I will inform you if the situation changes. We may offer a better rate in case of your existing CC limit. I’ll ask our credit manager to discuss the proposal in detail.

I knew that the situation shall never change as the private banks are very selective in financing “Greenfield projects”. A neighbor of mine did not get financing from any private sector bank when he decided to set up a new venture. The project was later financed by our bank. After successful implementation and when the business started earning good profits, the account was taken over by a private sector bank by offering lower pricing.

The Credit manager then discussed the details of the business, the existing rate of interest, security in the loan, etc for 15 minutes and gave in-principle approval for the proposal. He discussed on phone with his controlling office and offered a one percent lower rate of interest than the same charged by the present banker of Sh. Anmol Ratan. Mr. Anmol Ratan was mesmerized by the treatment he got at the branch. He was sure that the private bank employees are working in a good working environment and are also paid well.

Now we moved to a branch of a public sector bank. Mr. Anmol Ratan took me along with him on one condition that I’ll not disclose my identity. There were almost 50 customers at the branch. Many old-age pensioners were enquiring about their monthly pension. Some of the daily wage earners, pensioners had come for cash withdrawal. The person looking after deposits told us to visit the next day as he was on an alternate arrangement today.

We asked for the loan section and he pointed towards a person in his fifties. We moved to the pointed place and sat in front of Mr. Ranjit Khurana, the loan officer. Mr. Khurana was on a call probably from the circle office and he was informed that the branch has done five Mudra loans. The person on the other side of the phone was very angry as the branch was not able to achieve the target of 25 mudra loans during the ongoing campaign. Sh. Khurana assured that they will surpass the target and they have a sufficient number of leads.

(I knew that the finance minister has called the heads of public sector banks for a review meeting this week and the pressure for loans is due to the meeting. Further, if FM is not happy then the future of CMDs of banks may get affected. They may get rewarded with positions in RBI/IBA/Ministry if FM is happy with their performance. Then the bank shall get a new head for 3-4 years who will implement his systems and policies while scrapping the systems of the predecessor.)  

Sh. Anmol Ratan was already frustrated after the treatment he had got in the private sector bank. After waiting for 5 minutes I started the conversation.

Me: Good Afternoon Sir, we want to enquire about a business loan.

Ranjit Khurana: What kind of loan?

Anmol Ratan: I own a Jewellery shop and availing a Cash Credit limit of Rs. 5.00 Crore from Janta national bank. I want to know the interest rate you can offer.

Ranjit Khurana: This is the list of documents. Submit a complete set of documents and we’ll process the loan.

Anmol Ratan: But I just want to know the rate of interest.

Ranjit Khurana: Sir, I cannot tell the rate. It depends upon the rating by the concerned department. The rating shall be done after the submission of documents.

Anmol Ratan: How much time it shall take?

Ranjit Khurana: First submit the complete set of documents then I’ll check and inform. We’ll require to get a valuation, legal opinion of security.

(While the conversation was going on, I remembered an incident about a loan proposal I had submitted to the controlling office. After submission of the proposal, we held a customer meet and the DGM from the controlling office assured the customers that they shall get sanctions within 7 days. After 3 months we held another customer meet and till then the same credit proposal was still under process at the controlling office. The DGM again assured that the proposals shall be sanctioned within 7 days of submission of “Complete documents”. They had added the word “complete documents” to the statement. The documents are never complete for them even after asking for the same through various observations.)

We left the branch and Sh. Anmol Ratan was very angry. He abused government employees and government organizations. I dropped him at his home and left for my office.

It has been two weeks since we had visited the branches. Mr. Anmol Ratan has shifted all his dealings to the private bank but my marriage is still on hold as Sh. Anmol Ratan is now waiting for my bank to be privatized to say yes to marriage.

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