I had an account with HSBC and I transferred my loan account to Emirates NBD in December 2008. It was clearly mentioned and filled in [by me] on the loan application form about my salary credit date being between 27th and 30th of every month. The bank representative entered the loan instalment deduction date as the 23rd of every month. Due to this, Emirates NBD charged me Dh200 as late payment for three months — a total of Dh600. The credit department did not call me regarding the late salary credit.

The other incident was due to some HR allowance adjustment — my one month's salary was short of Dh600, the amount for the bank to deduct the loan instalment. A lady called from collections department and said: "We will freeze your account, we will send a fax to your HR manager."

Just to compare the two situations, they called me for Dh600 and yet no call for late salary credit.

I have followed up with Emirates NBD Al Ain branch for nearly four months to get back my Dh600 and the person who assisted me said: "You have the right to get back the money since the mistake is not from your side." After four months a bank representative said: "They will not give you your money back. Once they deduct it, it's very difficult to get back the money from the bank."

I got to know that the bank is deducting Dh200 every month as late payment fee when I went to the bank to check the statement due for instalment deduction, which they were not mentioning in the monthly statement. I have met all the senior managers at the Al Ain branch, but it's of no use.

There's another issue. On May 2, I deposited Dh600 around 1pm. I asked the counter staff if the cheque had been cleared from my account. The staff said not yet. After 2.30pm I received a text message from Emirates NBD saying "your cheque returned due to insufficient funds". I called the customer service and a woman said: "If you deposit the same day of the cheque collection date, the deposit will not reflect in your account."

Emirates NBD takes Dh200 as bounced cheque charge.

The next day I visited Al Ain, Bawadi Mall branch. The assistant manager's explanation was: "When the main office branch enters the cheque clearance in the system, it will not show in the system at the same time." I asked him: "Could you tell me the cash deposit and cheque input time?" But he would not tell me the time.

I informed him what a service agent told me. He replied: "Some times they don't know what to say and will say go to Dubai to settle your issue."

Then why do they have a branch?
From Mr Vinod Kumar

The management of Emirates NBD responds:

We are pleased to inform that we have contacted Mr Kumar and resolved his issue. He informed us that he would be contacting Gulf News to retract his complaint.

Mr Kumar responds:

Thank you very much for helping me resolve the issues with Emirates NBD. Thank you very much Gulf News … an Emirates NBD representative called me and said: "I will get the approval to reverse the money to your account and we will transfer back to your account the late payment (Dh600)."

However, he said he cannot do anything with the cheque return issue. I don't understand this. When he explained about the cheque return issue, he said the cut-off time for the cheque update is 12pm every day. But as I mentioned in my letter, they do the cheque update every morning and it appears in the system only in the afternoon. I was not quite clear about their cheque proceeding process.

Emirates NBD responds:

The cheque for the amount of Dh622 came to us through inward clearing and was returned unpaid due to insufficient funds in the drawer's account on May 2, 2010 as then available balance was Dh88.64. Customer made cash deposit of Dh600 the same day, but not in time to pay the cheque.

The confusion is due to the fact that his bank statement reflects the deposit entry chronologically prior to the cheque return transaction, the process that requires the inputs pertaining to the cheque return to be loaded on the system may reflect shortly after the actual incident of returning the cheque, whereas any transactions that take place in the interim will be captured in the statement.

Mr Kumar responds:

Thank you very much for the update. I feel there is no logic when Emirates NBD said, "the process that requires the input pertaining to the cheque return to be loaded on the system may reflect shortly after the actual incident of returning the cheque."

When I spoke to the bank representative before, he said the cut off time for the cheque will be 12pm. I received a text message on May 2 at 2.30pm and it says cheque returned due to insufficient fund. When the bank inputs the cheque into my account for clearing before 12pm, can you imagine it took two-and-a-half hours to appear in my account? When I do deposit cash, fund transfer from account to account, cash withdrawal or cash cheque deposit, it reflects in the system immediately. Why only the cheque clearing process in the system is different?

Emirates NBD responds:

We have investigated further the cheque return issue pertaining to Mr Kumar's query and concluded that the cash deposit has been made by the customer at Al Bawadi Mall branch at 1:58pm whereas the cheque was presented in the first clearing which had a cut-off time, that is 12pm. Due to insufficient balance at the cut-off time, the cheque was returned.

Mr Kumar responds:

Again thank you for your update. I clearly understand the cut-off time was 12pm but I don't know if Emirates NBD understands my queries. I repeat my query, as per Emirates NBD the cut-off time for cheques is 12pm. I deposited Dh600 at 1:58pm through a teller. Then I asked if any cheque came to my account. The teller answered "so far nothing is showing in your account at 1:58pm". If the cheque was cleared at 12pm, even after 2 hours they have not updated my account.

Why is Emirates NBD taking more than two hours to update its system?

Emirates NBD responds:

We would like to confirm that we have thoroughly investigated this matter and do not have any further comments to add. Actually we are surprised with the customer's complaint, who in spite of our continued support and cooperation, is insisting on repeating the same comments.

We always call on customers to ensure adequate funds are available in their account on the preceding day of the cheque's due date, so that there will be funds when the cheque is presented for payment at the opening hours on the due date. Please note that as far as we are concerned, this matter is closed.

Mr Kumar responds:

Thank you very much for your support and cooperation.

They never call people for such a case. They will only call if we missed a credit card payment or loan payment.

Since they don't have any right answer for my query on clearing cheques, I feel that they are not ensuring or considering customer satisfaction.

Once again thank you very much to Gulf News for getting back my Dh600 which Emirates NBD charged me as late payment fees. The issue has been solved by sending an e-mail to Gulf News.

Editor’s note: If you have similar consumer complaints,send them to readers@gulfnews.com