Days after the Rs 127-billion scam hit Punjab National Bank (PNB), its managing director and chief executive, Sunil Mehta, sent a motivational letter to employees, asking them to handle apprehensive customers courteously.
“I understand that some of our customers banking with us may be experiencing bit of anxiety at this moment. Let us be sensitive to their feelings and assure them that our bank will fully justify the trust reposed and live to its tagline ‘the name you can bank upon!’” Mehta said in a letter dated February 19.
The chief reminded the employees about how the bank, set up in 1894, steered through tough times, including two world wars, the great depression in 1930 and India-Pakistan partition in 1947. He said during the partition, PNB had paid back deposit of customers even without receipts.
“It is pertinent to mention here that all customers be attended with smile and courtesy as usual. If any customer requests for withdrawal of the deposit in the context of the present development, let us assure him about the strength of our great institution,” Mehta said. He said if any customer still insisted on closing an account, the request should be met “gracefully to maintain our age-old reputation as a customer-friendly bank”.
“At this moment, when the entire world is watching us, let us unitedly provide strong positive response and word of reassurance to all the stakeholders.
Remember, tough times never last but tough people do,” Mehta said.He said the bank had the power of 5Cs — one of the highest current account savings account share, stable credit quality, robust credit growth, adequate capital and low cost-to-income ratio. He said the government had shown its support to the bank by allocating Rs 54.7 billion under its recapitalisation plan to fund its growth.
“Let me assure you that our bank is safe and sound and has the capacity and the capability to come out of the situation,” he said.Mehta’s letter came on a day when the bank initiated the transfer of more than 1,400 employees, following an advisory from Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). On February 22, PNB had said it transferred 721 officers, 437 clerks and 257 sub-staff, taking total number of employees being transferred to 1,415. The bank advanced the exercise of transferring its staff, which usually happens every year after March, to ensure customer service is not affected at the time of closure of the financial year. The bank also transferred some of its general manager-level officials, giving them new roles.
The CVC has asked public sector banks to transfer all officers, who have completed three years as on December 31, 2017, after finding out that a lot of employees had not been transferred from their branches.