Twenty-two years ago, Mahim resident, Vasant Raut (67), had opened a joint fixed deposit (FD) account with his son Amogh Raut (29) in Standard Chartered’s Vasco da Gama branch in Goa.
After the branch shut down, Vasant Raut’s account was transferred to Standard Chartered’s Santacruz branch and the bank officials assured him that the shutdown wouldn’t affect any of his transactions.
It was only in August when Amogh went to enquire about his FD details that he learned that the bank did not have any of his fixed deposit documents in their possession. After Amogh’s father was admitted to the ICU, eight days ago, with a damaged hip bone, the medical bills have shot up to Rs 2 lakh. When Amogh urgently needed the money earned from the fixed deposits to pay the medical bills, the bank failed to recognise his account and denied having any of the FD papers.
Tabs take toll
Raut has been running from pillar to post for the last two months requesting Standard Chartered Bank to check the status of his FD account.
“As my father has been undergoing treatment for the last one week, my health insurance plan wasn’t sufficient to cover all the expenses,” said Amogh Raut.
“While the health insurance plan has covered a part of the medical bill, my father is yet to undergo a hip replacement surgery for which we will have to spend another Rs 2 lakh, at least,” headded.
Amogh said that his ailing father, Vasant, had to be shifted out of ICU of Fortis Raheja Hospital on Monday evening, as he was unable to afford the cost which was escalating by the day.
“I have been spending my savings, which I had kept aside for my December wedding and after going through such hardships, I decided to withdraw the amount from my FD account so that I could afford the treatment,” said a harrowed Raut.
“My father and I had opened the account in the Vasco Da Gama branch which later shut down, we were told that it wouldn’t affect the records of our joint account using which the FD account was created.”
The family received a confirmation of the deposit from the bank on August 1996 where the principal amount was Rs 9,479 (a copy of which is available with MiD DAY), with an interest rate of 14.5 per cent per annum.
The maturity value, five years later was supposed to be Rs 19,316. “I did not renew the account because at the time that we opened it, the terms and conditions clearly stated that if I didn’t do so, the bank would automatically renew the FD for a similar term at the interest rate prevailing at the time of the renewal,” he added.
With no sight of the interest amount earned over the years yet, the Rauts are anxious about paying the increasing hospital expenses.
The Other Side
Speaking to MiD DAY, the Standard Chartered spokesperson said, “We are looking into the complaint raised by Amogh Raut and will ensure full support to redress the matter.”