Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Citibank Fraud: FIR against Pandit

MD of Helion Ventures has filed a police complaint against Citibank which names several senior officials of Citibank including Vikram Pandit. Farcical as it may sound, it is sounds like sweet justice to hundreds of small time investors and other customers of these big banks, who in the past have faced harassment at their hands, but were too insignificant to draw attention. 

In Sanjeev Aggarwal, who earlier had founded Daksh, there is a guy with enough clout and credibility to create adequate nuisance value for Citi. One of my friends told me that he was happy about the FIR as Citi had, in the past overcharged his account without informing him, an amount that he could not recover as he gave up after repeated reminders to Citi's customer care. I too had been charged an insurance fee without my knowledge on my Citi Credit Card, a scheme that I had not opted in to, and had to fight tooth and nail to recover the charges. These may be small amounts for Citi but these hurt an ordinary customer just as much. 

For Sanjeev though, it is more than money at stake. For a GP (General Partner) at a private equity firm credibility is supreme. Which LP (Limited Partner) would now give money to a GP, who got conned out of his life savings by a small time private banker. We feel sorry for you Sanjeev and hope you recover your money at least. 

For Citi more than the fraud amount, loss of credibility and delays would hurt them more, especially in the retail segment and needs to take immediate steps to regain customer confidence. 

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