- Reader gets a complaint resolved with a bank.
I have been banking with Al Hilal Bank for the past few years. When I switched jobs last October, my previous company transferred my end of service benefits (EOSB) and last month’s salary to my Al Hilal Bank account. I was surprised when the bank blocked the entire amount. When I contacted the bank, they said it’s the bank’s policy to hold EOSB as I have an auto-loan with the bank. I visited the branch to see if they can help; the bank officer asked me to submit salary transfer letter from the new employer along with visa and Emirates ID copy. I submitted all these documents on November 19, 2018 at the Al Wasl branch. I followed up with the call centre and they asked me to wait till the first salary had been transferred by my new employer.
My first salary got credited in my Al Hilal Bank account on November 25 and the bank deducted November month Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) from the salary and also blocked EMI amount for the next month.
I was expecting the bank to release the blocked amount, but was shocked when I received a call from the bank on November 27 informing that the management has decided to use my EOSB amount to partially settle my auto-loan.
I never defaulted on an EMI, and told the officer I wish to continue with the EMI as per the original auto-loan contract period, but he said they cannot do anything as it’s a management decision.
I would understand if Al Hilal Bank withheld my gratuity if I didn’t have a job, but since I do and my new company has already started transferring my salary to my Al Hilal Bank account, what is the issue? I don’t know if the partial settlement will change the timeline on how many years more I will have to pay my loan. I seek help from Gulf News to bring this issue to the management.
From Mr Ajith Chirakkoli Sivadasan
The management of Al Hilal Bank responds: With reference to your request, kindly note that case is done and closed as the customer is approaching the branch to sign early settlement form and after settlement we released the lock on his account.
Mr Sivadasan responds: Appreciate your involvement, but that didn’t help. Bank went ahead and used the EOSB amount to partially settle my car loan; it’s their management decision. I am closing my account with the bank.
Al Hilal Bank responds: Al Hilal Bank is committed to providing its customers with the best financial services and solutions. We have explained to the customer that his end of service benefits are linked with the terms of his finance agreement; however, the customer was requested to provide a clarification letter explaining the breakdown of the end of service amount received. Upon receiving the required information, the bank released the remaining amount that represents his salary, leave salary and an airline ticket allowance on December 16, 2018. Having been in contact with the customer, we are pleased to confirm that he is satisfied with our solution to his issue.
(Process initiation: December 5, 2018. Response from organisation: January 24, 2019. Process completion: February 12, 2019.)
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