I am a regular reader of “Your complaints” in Gulf News. I have a bad experience with Union National Bank (UNB). I have had an account with UNB since 1999 (nearly 12 years). Five years ago, I requested a loan in UNB but they denied it. After that another bank offered me a loan, so I went to close my account with UNB. At that time the staff told me to just keep Dh100 in my account and not close it, so I can use it later. As an Adnoc employee, I don’t have to keep a minimum balance in my account.
Recently my company told me to open an account with UNB. I went there and the staff from Salam Branch told me to activate my account. So I agreed. He told me to pay Dh20, which I paid. When I got my salary, I was shocked that they deducted Dh1,139.90 (August 26, 2010) and Dh40.82 (August 31, 2010) respectively. When I called customer care, they told me this is due to the low minimum balance in my account. As they required, I submitted my salary transfer certificate. I told them this is not a maintaining account and while I reactivated it, they did not inform me about this. If they need this amount I will not activate it. If my account is a minimum balance maintaining account they are right, but it is not. If they are charging like this, they should have informed me before.
From Mr Iqbal Ambalaparambil
Union National Bank spokesperson responds: The consumer complaint has been investigated with the concerned division and the charges have been reversed. The customer has expressed his appreciation and satisfaction with UNB’s prompt action and service.
Mr Ambalaparambil updates: I got a call from UNB saying they are going to reverse my money. I checked and confirmed that all my money has been reversed to my account. I don’t know how to express my feelings towards Gulf News, because the only reason why I got my money back is Gulf News. I can tell that Gulf News is always with the community. Now I am fully satisfied and appreciate UNB management for their quick response on this matter. Once again thanks Gulf News for your support.
Closing of account
I would be grateful if my problem could be escalated to the management of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) as there is serious disconnect in the way they manage their complaints. Every six months, ADCB sends me a blank statement for a current account that I opened with their Karama branch many years ago to facilitate transactions related to a mortgage loan that I took from them. This account was opened on the understanding that there would be no minimum balance requirement or any extra fee given the size of my mortgage. The mortgage was settled a few years ago and ADCB were advised to close this account after I withdrew my remaining credit balance and there have been no further transactions in this account since. However, I have received blank balance statements and despite calling their call centre to take action to close this account more than once, nothing has happened. At some point ADCB decided on its own that since I no longer had a mortgage with them, to start accumulating a service charge of Dh100 per month, which was kept on hold since there were no funds in the account.
My most recent attempt to request them to close this redundant account was about a week ago when I was given a complaint number and told that someone would contact me. Recently, I received a call from this department and was told that they have no records of my closure requests and that they cannot close the account without a payment of at least 50 per cent of their accumulated charges. I advised them that I never agreed to these charges at the time of opening the account and that they decided not to close this account despite my repeated requests. This being the case, they have a choice – they can keep the account open and keep wasting money sending me zero balance statements or they can close this account without any cost to me immediately.
They have advised they cannot help me and will probably keep the account open and continue to accumulate charges. Being a banker myself, I cannot think of a more bizarre example of mindless bureaucracy at work. I am seeking the assistance of Gulf News as a last resort in the hope that this action might make them see the light.
From Mr Ranjit Bhagat
The management of ADCB responds: Kindly be informed that the complainant’s issue has been resolved and his account was already closed since September 3, 2010. A letter has been sent to the customer informing him of the same. Case is closed now.
Mr Bhagat responds: Thank you Gulf News for the intervention and I can now confirm that the planet will save a few trees by not having zero balance paper statements coming to me any longer. I have received confirmation from ADCB that they have taken the required action and closed the account in question.
Editor’s note: If you have similar consumer complaints, send them to us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org