The Finance Minister,
The RBI Governor,
Indian Bankers Association,
As most of you are aware I am running senior citizens organisation for last abt 10 years. Many different cases/ issues / request come to me for guidence/ assisatnce. I try to help them free of charge / no obligations/ and even offer them a cup of tea.
Recently a widow gujrati lady in her 50's came to me. Where her husband had died recently. She informed me that he had three bank accounts and two FD's. All five deposits in different banks. He had left a will but did not keep 2nd holder or nominee.
As per his last will the ney had to go to her son but who was just 15 years of age and was preparing for exams.
I consulted my friend and helpful person Ad Sandeep Jalan who advised for bank accounts heirs do not need will to be probated in high court. So she straight away saved on time and money which would have been spent on securing probate. Thanks to Ad Sandeep Jalan ( any one who needs his mobile no. for any legal help may pl. write to me as he specialises in will, probate and writ petitions).
Now the real sufferings: Demised person had his three acconts in fort area. After his death there is no one who is familiar with that area/ those bank branches. The widow is unable to go all that far specially when there r three children and one ailing mother inlaw of age 79 yrs. Just to help her out I approached these banks and narrate in brief the expirience:
1. Bank of Baroda: They said here is a claim form but claiment must get two surities who are having account with this branch. For her it was difficult to get such a surity while she had other very well placed relatives willing to stand surity but did not have account in BOB. The surity draft was not having enough space to write like to write address they gave an inch of space. They asked for franking surity bond with rs 200/- . Some otherbank aske for Rs 100/- . Are laws different for different banks in one contry?
2. ICICI bank, Fort. : Since they claim to be a very advance bank I searched for farms on their web site. I did not get it there. Then I sent an email to them requesting them to send forms by mail. After having no response I went to near by branch of ICICI. They insisted that I must go to fort branch to collect forms. Thsi was ridiculous. These forms are just stationery and sholud be made availble anywhere easily. My attept tp convince that I am not lodging a claim here I just want form and we will lodge claim only at base branch. But to no avail.
3. Bank of India has another requirement besides other requirements. They will lodge your accont in pipeline ccount etc etc..
I am still to visit rest of the banks. We r not entering here in issues like why this person did not have nominee or why he had so many accounts. Probably at this age of 50's he never realised that he will die in an accident and hence must have thought he has time to do needful later. It is amazing that atleast he had kept a will or esle the formalities would have been much lenghtier.
All forms are differnt in language and contents though they mean same thing.
MY ISSUES :
TO RBI, IBA, Finance ministry:
We Indian common men are already harrassed citizens. Suffering everywhere. How it helps you in seeing our life further getting worst?
RBI/ IBA can have one common draft for such formalities hosted on net, with Q and A for guiding account holders on each steps and allowing them to submit claim at nearest branch from where the forms can go to base branch.
I wonder if some one is on transfferable job and recently transfeerd more then once and had accounts in different cities then will such widow heirs have to first travel only to collect forms. Then will they have to hunt for surities from same branch.
If the banks decide to have common forms then one has to help such claiment for filling only one form and reast they can manage but presently all banks have their own formats.
Here I thank AMFI/ IRDA who have made many common forms really common to be used easily by anyone by just loggiong in to any one fund house.
Hope wisdom and compassion will prevail and things will be made easier for account holders.
Thanks and Regards,