Mumbai: A Bandra resident on Saturday received an sms from HSBC bank that an account had been opened on the name of his dead father. Faking News immediately wanted to investigate the unprecedented incident in banking history and tracked down the Bandra resident for an exclusive interview.
FN: Mr. Bandraman, just curious to know – your name, when split, says Bandra Man, right?
BR: It is not Bandra Man. It is Band Raman as in Raman Bands. My father was a scientist.
FN: Interesting. Now, tell us, you received an SMS from HSBC regarding an account on the name of your dead father?
BR: Yes. On Saturday. My father had been dead for 5 years now. Ironically, HSBC sends the SMS on his 5th death anniversary.
FN: Tell us something! How come you have his mobile number?
BR: One of the very few things I have inherited from my dead father. Need I say more?
FN: Don’t bother! Now, did you call HSBC for an explanation?
BR: Of course, I did. HSBC said – my father had applied for a Zero balance account during one of his foreign travels and the bank is currently trying to track down the new (?!$@#) ‘account request’ to trace originating country.
FN: Why the delay in opening the account?
BR: It is the bank’s policies. For a zero balance account, the number of approvals needed is almost equal to the number of HSBC employees worldwide. Also, the newly generated account number has to be sent to all the 80 countries where HSBC currently operates, to ensure uniqueness. HSBC informs me that, some countries take as much as ten years to respond to any account related enquiries from India.
FN: Oh well. It is all a big joke. You can laugh it out; publicize it; get a few Facebook ‘likes’ and forget about it! Nice meeting you Mr. Bandraman!
BR: Hold on. Not so fast. Listen to the full story! Along with the new account, HSBC had sent the information that my father owes the bank a whopping sum of Rs.2,16,000.
FN: Excuse me!
BR: Oh yeah. The account, which is open, now is ‘Advance’ account and a minimum balance has to be maintained in the account to waive off any service charges. Apparently, a Sri Lankan HSBC official did not want to approve ‘zero balance account’ for an Indian scientist, after the island-nation lost to India in 2011 cricket world cup.
FN: But, the account is open just now.
BR: Bank says, the minimum balance should have been maintained from the date of the application. It is one of their global rules, which applies to any local branch.
FN: It is an alarming situation Mr. Bandraman. How you gonna tackle this?
BR: I already have a plan. I am planning to put in a loan application with HSBC, Bandra branch to fulfill this debt, and I am sure that will take a long time to get processed and probably not in my lifetime!
FN: Thank you Mr. Bandraman, an intriguing plan, indeed. Good luck!