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V Subramanian


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Everywhere, we hear about the ideal concepts like ‘Customer is the King’, ‘Customer’s Delight’, ‘Customer is our true boss’ etc.  But, has any one talked about the duties and responsibilities of a bank customer?  Does the customer have only rights and privileges and doesn’t have any duties and responsibilities?


The answer is a big ‘No’.


Here, I have listed the duties and responsibilities of a bank customer in a focused and vivid manner.  A customer must remember these things always.


  1. 1) The foremost duty of a customer is to comply with the KYC norms that have become universal now.
  2. 2) The customer must co-operate with the bank in following all the standard rules and procedures, without asking for any exemption/waiver.
  3. 3) The customer must remember his bank account number.  The account number is synonymous with his name, for all practical purposes, because he is identified more by his account number than anything else, in a bank.
  4. 4) The customer must remember to sign the same way each time and his signature must always match with his specimen signature scanned and uploaded in the bank’s computers.  However, the customer is entitled to change his specimen signature once in a few years.
  5. 5) The customer has to bring his Passbook (in case of S.B. Accounts) and Cheque Book (if he enjoys this facility), whenever he visits the bank in person.  It will save a lot of time for himself and the bank staff.
  6. 6) Whenever the customer visits the bank for the second time, for completing an unfinished job, it is advisable to carry all the relevant papers and documents in full set, without fail.
7) Those customers who have cheque book facility shall not ask for a withdrawal form or a loose cheque, because in the CBS environment it will be difficult to oblige them, especially when they want cash withdrawal









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  2. 8) The customer must be aware of his bank’s business hours and shall not unnecessarily trouble the bank staff to comply with his requests outside the business hours.  This is because the customers, upon their request, are provided with Debit Card and Internet Banking facility free of cost, almost by all the banks.  Hence with these, a customer can meet most of his financial needs, even when his bank is closed.
  3. 9) The customer is expected to know the distinction between the ‘Home Branch’ and other branches of the same bank.  This is because certain functions can be carried out only at the ‘Home Branch’ (e.g. issuance of a new cheque book or a Debit Card, account closure, change of address etc.).
  4. 10) In case of a non-Home Branch, several restrictions exist for payment of cash to a third party, limits imposed on withdrawal of cash by oneself,  sending RTGS or payment of taxes etc.  The customer must find out the nature of such restrictions from his Home Branch and remember them always.
  5. 11) The customer must behave decently and politely when he is inside a bank or when he contacts his bank over phone or email.  
  6. 12) Especially when he contacts his bank over phone, he must be very specific on his query and end his conversation within a few minutes, because the bank staff at the other end has several constraints in prolonging the conversation unnecessarily. 
  7. 13) If necessary, the customer must visit the branch in person to satisfy his needs, as all his needs and wants cannot be fulfilled through a phone call.
  8. 14) For certain types of jobs like withdrawal of large sums of cash, premature cancellation of a term deposit of huge value, issuance of TDS certificate etc., advance intimation to the bank is necessary. 
  9. 15) The customer must approach the right person (bank staff), for attending to his particular need.  He shall not expect all the bank staff to perform every kind of job at a time.
  10. 16) Similarly, the customer must approach the right branch/office for his special needs.  For example, in metros, there may be a specialized branch for processing Housing Loans or Forex transactions.  Some branches which have been designated as Corporate Finance branches cannot be expected to extend gold loans and agricultural advances.
  11. 17) When some bank staff is on leave, the customer shall not approach another staff for some special type of jobs.  For instance, a staff sitting at the counters cannot be expected to process his loan proposal, in the absence of a regular staff who has been entrusted with this work.
  12. 18) The customer must understand his bank is there only to fulfill his genuine banking needs and the bank cannot act as his finance manager or accountant.  For the special needs like investment and tax counselling, the customer must approach his auditor or any other competent professional only.
  13. 19) The customer shall not expect his bank to offer solution for the problems faced by him elsewhere.
  14. 20) Whenever there is acute shortage of staff in the branch, due to the absence of many staff at a time (on the grounds of leave, training, transfer, deputation etc.), the customer must co-operate with the staff present at the branch and learn to adjust, without showing his impatience, irritation and anger on them.
  15. 21) The customer shall not attempt to jump the queue, when there are several other customers waiting before him for the same purpose – like withdrawal/payment of cash, purchase of DD, remittance of taxes, sending RTGS/NEFT remittances etc.
  16. 22) The customer shall not demand any privilege or concession or service to which he is not entitled, as per the bank rules in vogue.  However, he may seek clarification from the bank staff, regarding his ineligibility or disqualification in this regard.
  17. 23) Once the bank manager has given his oral approval for any credit proposal, it is the duty of the customer to submit all the necessary papers and documents in one bunch, neatly sorted and arranged, without submitting them in piecemeal.  It will save a lot of time for everyone and will obviate dissatisfaction and complaints.
  18. 24) Having accepted all the terms and conditions of sanction of a loan/advance, it is the duty of the customer to comply with them sincerely, honourably and in time.
25) Finally, the customer must realize that the bank staff are also human beings and they have got their own limitations.  Hence, the customer must treat them as his equal.  If he does this, he will get spontaneous respect and love from all of them




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