An evening with a Banker Post-Demonetization

An evening with a Banker Post-Demonetization:

Teacher and Banker are always two respectable profession in our society. One who builds future of nation and other who is most trustable institution of economy.  Post- Demonetization lot of question raised on banker's professionalism.

I have many friends who are in banking industry but didn't able to get their time in these days. Finally after 50 days of demon, I am able to spend few hour time with a banker.

Banker life post-demon:

I met one banker couple who has six months baby in their house and they are one year old to new city. It was horrible first few weeks of demon, everyday coming at 1-2 AM to home and going back again next morning at 8 AM even working on weekends became tough job to manage both the life.

One-day their baby fell sick and that banker couldn't get time to take her to doctor. One can imagine the pressure a banker went through post-demonetization. My heartiest thanks to all banker and specially their family.

Doubting Thomas:

We have seen in news and social sites that lot of people have new currency notes with them when one can withdraw 2500/ per day. Without doubt it raised to bank officers and branches who involved in such money-laundering. The hefty amount recovered from Individuals shown by media, as per me can't be possible at branch level.

It's RBI who sends money to Currency Chest and from currency chest it goes to branches. After demonetization for few days there was no control check/track by RBI on currency chest level. So we saw instead of money coming to branches went to different route. Now RBI tracks the series number goes to each branch from currency chest. We should not doubt all bankers because of few corrupt.

Whom to Trust:

Bank is financial institution which is regulated by RBI. They can't go and do anything beyond RBI guidelines and framework. There are many incidents which questions on bank activities during demonetization. Let me share most recent:

Recently RBI announced anyone depositing more than Rs 5,000 in old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in their bank accounts will need to justify it to two bank officers but later RBI announced to roll back this decision.

After this announcement, customer in the queue immediately deny to justify rather forced bank officers to take deposit. Bank officer can't implement unless notification issued by RBI but at last banks compromised on compliance and regulatory. It was RBI whose flip-flop decision lost its credibility as regulatory as well as Bank as an institution lost its trust from public.

By chance if you have visited any rural bank branches, you may notice a notification outside bank "As per RBI guideline, writing anything on new notes makes the notes invalid & it will no more be legal tender". This is completely false information, RBI doesn't have such guidelines. Yes, I agree we should not be scribing on note that bank should aware people rather than mis-guiding public.

Each and every individual must have some experience post-demon.A daily worker who was standing in the line to deposit 1500/ (One old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes). The teller tear off old 500 note being deposited by the person and said this is fake currency. Are we getting exploit by a banker due to an individual lack of knowledge or misusing our trust towards bank?

Under whose authority was the bank officer destroying it, how this labor will be compensated?

Under RBI guideline, Bank should accept those counterfeit notes and make sure follow RBI guideline and re-issue same amount to the depositor.

Above examples force us to question: Does the bankers well aware about RBI guidelines? Does the banker to be trusted?

(Biswajit Behera is a Certified Equity Research Analyst and the views expressed in this article are those of the author).

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