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RBI makes pass books compulsory
October, 27th 2006
Pass books will be back very soon. Thats after RBI's recent diktat to banks that they must provide passbooks to all savings bank account holders.

This move has brought pallable delight to customers, especially those on the wrong side of fifty.

If we have a passbook then we can check all the transactions and keep records, says a customer.

But bankers don't seem to share this enthusiasm. On the face of it, everyone avers that the customer has to be served and they will always comply with RBI rules, whatever it takes

We will always comply with the law, what ever it takes, says ICICI Bank Joint MD Kalpana Morparia.

Bankers are facing a dilemma, they wonder whether they need to post passbooks to all customers or whether they have to seek a reply from each customer as to what they prefer and then go ahead.

They point out that most younger customers don't come to the branch and much less want to update their passbooks.

Having a passbook is important, but you have to go to the branch, stand in queue and update it. But a mini statement is available in two minutes, says one customer.

Bankers argue that the RBI has simply not through the cost and is needlessly engaging in micro management. Market forces they say will ensure Service quality.

But if that was so, why were passbooks stopped in the first place, especially when many senior citizens want them.

The only hope now is if RBI can change the rule to say that banks must provide passbooks to those who ask for them rather than to everyone.

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