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Rajesh Goyal 



I was happy to read today the headlines "Chidambaram urges banks to discourage gold buying".   I have been writing about certain issues  on this website since I have taken VRS.  During my service itself I was against number of such practices prevalent in banking sector.   One of this was the aggressive marketing of gold coins by banks.   They used to give huge advertisements (at the cost of bank profits) to boost sale of gold coins specially at Akshay Trithya and Diwali.  Most of the Branch Managers were given targets for sale of gold coins.  There was all round competition among banks as to who can sell maximum gold coins.   Sometimes I felt as if sale of gold coins is the core business of banks!   Such aggressiveness and marketing at the expense of public created euphoria among the public to buy gold coins as they were cajoled to believe that only bank gold coins are pure.   Thus, around festive season, sale of gold coins assumed alarming proportions.


I had to face music even during my service when I used to resist such aggressiveness on the part of my Bank to encourage sale of gold coins.   I was of the firm believer that such sale is neither the core business of banks nor it is in the interest of the nation in the long run.   My seniors and even colleagues used to snub such views.   I was time and again reminded that as a soldier we have to follow the instructions of CMDs / EDs without questioning.   


Thus, after taking VRS, when became a free bird, I started expressing my views through website.   One of the issues which we have taken up time and again was the 'banning of sale of gold coins by banks'.    Although number of bankers supported my view point, yet at the top level it was brushed aside as immature views of a lower retired functionary.  Anyway, we continued to hold our view.



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The aggressiveness shown by banks in marketing of gold has created an atmosphere where the craze of buying gold has gone up manifold in last few years.  People with black money soon realised that this is the best avenue to convert their black money into gold.   Earlier such corrupt black money holders were at the mercy of jewellers who they could not believe 100%.    Thus, in last few years, huge amounts of black money have been converted into gold in last few years.    After a gap of few years, even IT people can not question the sources of such gold.    Thus, top brass of banks by encouraging sale of gold coins have done the worst harm to our economy.  


Finally, RBI and GoI have realised the folly of not stopping banks the aggressive marketing of sale of gold coins.   However, this has come too late, as our current account deficit has gone beyond control and  corrupt public has already realised the potential of keeping black money in pure gold which can not be questioned if you hold the same for few years.  


Now, I would like to know the views of the CMDs / EDs / GMs of all nationalised banks, who have been encouraging such sales and even punishing officers who were slow in such sales.   Is it not a slap on their face?   We are happy that finally. RBI and GoI have fallen in line with our views.  I hope CMDs / EDs will shed their narrow mind attitude and will listen to few honest voices around them.   They have to start thinking in broader terms in the interest of the nation.    This will come only if they are keep away the flatterers.


I hope soon RBI and GoI will realise their mistakes on other issues like sale of third party products, cartelization in respect of saving interests etc.   We will continue to write freely and frankly about what we feel to be in the interest of nation in particular and banking industry at large.   Some top brass may not agree with us but as time passes they will realise their follies.



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