• January 18, 2018
    Last updated less than one minute ago

complaints

Loan tenure shortened

Late charges being levied despite payments and requests for date change

By Shreya Bhatia, Reader Interactivity Journalist
17:40 January 12, 2018

Loan tenure shortened

I have been banking with Standard Chartered for almost a year and have a personal loan with them. I changed my job and joined a new company in August 2017. The new company has an exclusive arrangement with another bank. Not wanting to leave Standard Chartered, I reached out to them a full month before my service end date, which was July 2017, so that I could arrange for the requirements they would need for a smooth transition.

I was given the opportunity to speak with a collections agent, who guided me through the transition and would inform me of the process and consequences. I completely trusted the agent, and was assured that my end of service benefits, which, by standard practice, get frozen and taken by the bank as payment for my loan, would be processed with transparency and full disclosure of details. As security, I also sought advice from their Dubai Mall branch for guidance. I have disclosed my new details to both the agent and the bank’s branch. I tried to make them understand that under my new company, my salary arrival dates would change, and I was advised by the branch to apply for a due date change. I have done this process diligently and was assured that there would be no issues in processing it.

A month into my new job, at the end of August 2017, I received multiple calls from the bank, stating that I have not paid my loan on time. I contacted them and said that I had applied for a due date change, way ahead of my instalment date, and also confirmed that my gratuity payment would have paid for the August instalment. I gave the collections department my two transaction details, made in the month of July 2017, which covered for the months of July and August 2017. I also reiterated that since I was at a new job, my next salary arrival would occur in the second week of September 2017. It came as a shock to me, to learn that my second payment was actually not a payment for August.

I spoke with multiple agents and they all reassured me that there would be no issues regarding the scheduling of the loan. Unfortunately, none of them relayed to me that the loan tenure would be shortened, as a result of taking my ‘End of Service’ benefits pay. Without that knowledge, I was unaware that I had been incurring interest due to delay in payment and negative funding of my account. This caused me weeks of back-and-forth conversations with the bank, with no solid resolution. The complaints team would just tell me that it was a standard procedure and that they only have apologies for me, because they did not inform me. They asked me to reapply for the due date change again with a disclaimer that I would incur late charges as per their customer service representative. This has been a very frustrating process to undergo again, because they have completely disregarded all the safeguarding steps I have taken.

This is a clear disservice to their customer base. As an international bank, I expect nothing but consistency and clear cut protocols from them, in all their transactions. I expect transparency and accountability from all their agents. The way they are dealing with customers is completely misleading as evidenced by conflicting and incomplete instructions that I have been receiving from them.

From Mr Nikkei Pfeiffer M. Tadili

Dubai

The management of Standard Charted Bank responds:

Upon receiving the complaint, Standard Chartered Customer Care Unit tried to contact the client, however were not able to reach him. The client has been notified, via an official email, about our resolution. The charges levied are valid and as per the terms and conditions of the agreement that the client has signed and agreed on when modifying his EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) form.

(Process initiation: November 3, 2017. Response from organisation: November 5, 2017. Process completion: January 6.)