Wanted: More Hon­est Bankers

Reader's Digest (India) - - Editor’s Note -

In the old days banks were places where you went and talked to the friendly man­ager. You’d tell him you had some money to in­vest and he’d tell you how to. To­day’s bank man­agers are too friendly—they’ll ring you up or come home to tell you that you have some money to in­vest and how they’ll in­vest it for you. If all that’s a bit con­fus­ing, learn from our cover story about Mr Man­ge­lal Sharma and oth­ers.

Five years ago, it was bankers who, in their rush for prof­its and per­sonal bonuses, caused the Great Re­ces­sion from which we still haven’t re­cov­ered. No lessons have been learnt. Many bankers re­main greedy and fiendishly com­pet­i­tive. With no con­science at all, they’ll bluff and cheat cus­tomers, you and I, by clev­erly trick­ing you into in­vest­ments that fetch prof­its and pro­mo­tions for them. They’ll pry into your ex­ist­ing in­vest­ments and send their “re­la­tion­ship man­agers” to you ask­ing that you switch to ULIPs or mu­tual funds you may not un­der­stand or ben­e­fit from. They even trick the au­thor­i­ties. Be­tween June and July, fol­low­ing a damn­ing ex­posé by Co­bra­post.com, an in­ter­net news por­tal, the Re­serve Bank of In­dia fined 25 lead­ing banks a to­tal of ` 60 crore for break­ing rules or crim­i­nally pro­mot­ing money-laun­der­ing ac­tiv­i­ties! So far, the bankers in­volved seem to have got away while their com­pa­nies, the banks, pay the fines.

Our cover story is not an ex­posé, since The Di­gest’s prime duty is to ed­u­cate read­ers. We wrote it our own way, with­out nam­ing or sham­ing any of the banks in­volved, with much hope that it will also be a re­minder to all bankers that they are the guardians of our daily bread as well as the wider econ­omy.

Nearly all Di­gest ar­ti­cles are writ­ten by our staff or by pro­fes­sional jour­nal­ists, but there are a few reg­u­lar sec­tions, in­clud­ing our jokes pages, open to any­body. This month, a re­tired IAF ser­vice­man tells us his story—and it’s not Hu­mour in Uni­form. It’s in My Story: A heart-warm­ing ac­count of his life­long friend­ship with a fel­low air­man. Like­wise, most of us will have a true story to tell. Where’s yours?

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