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Feedback from the readers

Kudos for a great issue on best banks. I, however, have a point to make. While ranking the banks, you should have also considered the views of the customer and considered paramaters like the most user-friendly bank, how the bank fares on customer satisfaction, the time taken to deal with complaints to the customer’s satisfaction, the number of complaints recieved, etc. I hope your survey next year factors in these issues.

Print Edition: March 9, 2008

Include customer’s views

Kudos for a great issue on best banks. I, however, have a point to make. While ranking the banks, you should have also considered the views of the customer and considered paramaters like the most user-friendly bank, how the bank fares on customer satisfaction, the time taken to deal with complaints to the customer’s satisfaction, the number of complaints recieved, etc. I hope your survey next year factors in these issues.

—D.B.N. Murthy, through e-mail

PSU banks still way behind

It was good to read that state-owned banks now mean business (Coming of Age, February 24, 2008). In reality, however, I don’t think there is even a single PSU Bank that provides satisfactory services to its customers, who are largely from the middle class and low-income groups. I can say from personal experience that the service in most PSU banks is hopeless, the bank staff wouldn’t be bothered even if you are a senior citizen, and one has to wait endlessly or make several trips for simple things like getting a pass book updated.

The other annoying thing is that the computers don’t work half the times, or the power is off. In my opinion, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should periodically rank the nationalised banks keeping customer satisfaction in mind.

— Mahesh Kapasi, through e-mail

All credit to HDFC Bank

The BT-KPMG survey on India’s Best Banks’ was marvellous. The success of any financial institution hinges on getting five issues right: the quality of management in terms of how it takes on the emerging challenges, an efficient human resources department, corporate governance, risk management profile and, finally, the ability of the organisation to draw a comprehensive road map for future business strategies. Globalisation, privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation have presented both challenges and opportunities.

In this regard, HDFC Bank has carved a niche for itself. It has retained the #1 spot for the fifth time in succession with consistent growth, good asset quality and strong net interest margin. I am sure your next annual survey on best banks will endeavour to rate banks on aspects like customer-centricity and rural penetration as well.

— Srinivasan Umashankar, through e-mail

Keeping pace with technology vital

HDFC Bank has again emerged as the #1 bank and it deserves all credit for maintaining its position for the last five years. Given today’s competitive environment, it is imperative for banks, especially state-owned banks, to have high standards of customer service and innovative products. Also, stateowned banks need to upgrade their technology and increase their ATM network if they want to be in the reckoning and give the private banks a run for their money.

— Akhilesh Kumar Sah, through e-mail

SBI is the best

The so-called Best Banks are engaged in class banking; they hardly do mass banking. They rarely open zero-balance accounts. The newage private sector banks are mainly urban operators and have no bearing on the rural sector. Foreignowned banks are undermining the economy by focussing lending on consumers. Nationalised banks are online and efficient. If popularity and accessibility are the criteria for deciding the best bank, the honour should go to State Bank of India and its associate banks.

— P. Raghunatha Prabhu, through e-mail

West Bengal can learn from Orissa

It was interesting to read about Vedanta’s work in Jharusguda in Orissa (Land of Good Deals, Feb. 24, 2008). But I wonder whether everything is all that hunky-dory. And if it is, then Orissa’s neighbour West Bengal can definitely learn a lesson or two from it.

— Raj Kaushik, through e-mail

Correction

In micro-credit messiahs (BT, February 24, 2008), Harsha Moily’s dancer sister, Hamsa, was inadvertently described as his wife. BT deeply regrets the error.

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