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Given a loan I hadn’t requested

Reader is now being asked to pay interest on an amount she never used

Gulf News

My complaint is with regards to the ‘flexi loan’ that First Gulf Bank (which is now First Abu Dhabi Bank - FAB) credited to my National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) account, amounting to Dh4,500 in October 2015, that I didn’t request at all. After receiving a notification from my bank that money had been transferred to my account, I got in touch with FAB’s customer service department.

Since I did not need this money and I did not ask for it, I asked FAB customer service what the procedure was to return the amount. They advised me to deposit the amount at Al Ansari Exchange and call them afterwards. I did it as per their advice – after depositing the money on the same day through Al Ansari Exchange, I called them and the complaint had been closed as I received a confirmation on my mobile. The issue has been idle since 2015, and I didn’t receive a call, SMS or email asking for any payment regarding this. That is why we assumed that this matter had already been settled.

Recently, in February 2017, I received a message from FAB that I have outstanding credit on my loan amounting to over Dh2,000. I called the customer service number and found out that this flexi loan had not been closed at all.

To verify, I went to FAB’s Marina Mall branch, and they told me that it was a mistake and that I should just disregard it. I also went to the Musaffah main branch and they just gave me the number of the legal department, but unfortunately they said only customer service could resolve the issue.

This matter has been bothering me all the time, because I receive calls from the collections department, threatening me that they will file legal charges against me and will freeze my NBAD account. In addition to that, FAB is freezing certain amounts of money every month in my other account without my consent.

For the past four months, I have been raising this complaint with FAB. I am cooperating with them, and providing all the reference numbers from 2015 that they sent to my mobile as evidence, so that they can easily resolve my issue, but unfortunately, until now, they haven’t resolved my complaint and the interest for this flexi loan is getting higher.

As of this day, FAB is asking me to pay around Dh3,000 for interest alone. I would like to know from FAB – why are they asking me to pay it only now and why do I have to pay interest on money I didn’t use?

I would like to convey this query to FAB’s management, so they can reconsider the practices being followed.

From Ms Venus Maigue

Abu Dhabi

The management of FAB responds:

FAB supports the growth ambitions of its stakeholders and goes beyond financial products and services, and as such, we are grateful for all customer feedback as we strive to consistently deliver the highest standards of service. The customer has been contacted and has been informed that we have foreclosed the Flexi plan without any charges.

Ms Maigue responds:

I confirm that FAB has contacted me on the complaint and my flexi loan is under process for closure. Unfortunately, my name still on the credit bureau list and with the Central Bank of the UAE for having a bad record and as per their representative, it will only be updated in October. Thank you Gulf News, for taking up my complaint.

(Process initiation: August 6. Response from organisation: September 6. Reader confirmation: September 7.)

Editor’s note: Do you have similar issues that you would like to raise with us? You can write to us at readers@gulfnews.com.

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