Saturday 1 August 2015

Woman from Kanpur becomes the richest person for a day due to SBI accounting error

SBI erroneously credits Rs. 95,000 into the bank account of a poor Kanpur woman

Urmila Yadav of Kanpur's Vikas Nagar was unexpectedly surprised by the UPSIDC branch of State Bank of India (SBI) in Kanpur credited over Rs. 95,000 crore into her bank account making her the wealthiest person in the world.

SBI erroneously credits Rs. 95,000 into the bank account of a poor Kanpur woman

The woman had deposited only Rs. 2,000 to open her account as a part of the central government's Jan Dhan Yojana and was astonished when she received a message of Rs 9,99,990 as balance in her account. Thanks to a strange process followed by the bank to get in touch with its customers, the amount deposited by the bank in her account was estimated to be Rs. 95,711,69,86,47,130.14.

Urmila, who works as a domestic help had received two text messages from the bank. While the first one said her account had been credited with Rs 9,99,999, the other showed that Rs 9.97 lakh had been deducted leaving a balance of Rs 2,000. She was obviously shocked as she had not made any such transaction.

"I was constantly asking myself as to how this Rs 10 lakh came and went," she said.

She got in touch with her guarantor after the incident, who at once approached the bank to find out about the careless mistake done by the bank.

However, she was in for a bigger shock when she rushed to the bank with her guarantor, Lalta Prasad Tiwari. The bank’s response was even more surprising.

VK Srivastava, a senior clerk who also acts as a manager, said it took place supposedly due to a process undertaken to freeze a dormant account. For some time, Urmila's account was dormant, as she had not maintained the adequate balance that is needed to keep it operational.

According to the bank employees, it was a way to share information with the account holder that he or she could no longer use the account. Hence, the bank credited a fictitious figure and then deducted it, as a part of the process.

Abhishek Gupta, a chartered accountant says "Rules bar banks from crediting and debiting any sum without the consent of the account holder."

"The bank is responsible for what has happened. What is the point in such a process?" he asked.

He said if the account was opened with Rs 2,000, then the woman should not have received the messages about the credit of Rs 9.99 lakh and the one about a deduction of Rs 9.97 lakh in the first place.

"It needs to be investigated thoroughly," said Gupta.

In the mean time, Urmila said that she does not want to court a controversy and just wants the bank to return her original amount.

"I do not want to contest as to how it happened. My only worry is the Rs. 2,000. That should be safe," said Urmila.

The bank has now activated her account, which is showing the correct balance of Rs. 2000.

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