Including the name of a credit card holder in the loan defaulters’ list despite having settled all disputes amounts to “unfair trade practice”, the Delhi consumer commission has said, terming such actions as “defamatory” for bank customers.
“We have taken a view that by putting name of the credit card holder in the list of defaulters amounts to unfair trade practice,” the commission headed by Justice J D Kapoor said while awarding Rs 50,000 compensation to a private bank customer.
Bijay Kumar Dash, a retired public relation officer of AIIMS, who applied for loan from a nationalised bank, was shocked to learn that his name was mentioned in Credit Information Bureau India Ltd (CIBIL), the defaulters’ list despite having settled all the disputes with the Citibank.
The Commission termed the practice “as defamatory as bank has no business to take its dispute with the customer to other banks and tell that he is defaulter and therefore loan should not be given.”
Dash approached the Commission seeking compensation for “irreparable” loss to his reputation and directions to the bank for removing his name from the defaulters list.
“The Citibank has now agreed to withdraw the name of Dash from defaulters list and they will also issue a formal letter of ‘No dues certificate’ and pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to him,” Justice J D Kapoor said.
Pulling up Citibank for sending bills to Dash without there being any transaction on his part, the Commission also asked the Reserve Bank of India to direct the banks against deciding on loan applications only on the basis of defaulters’ list.
“We have deprecated this practice that inspite of there being no proof of any transaction done by Dash and inspite of having settled the matter fully, the Citibank continued sending bills,” the commission said.
It also issued directions to other banks “not to reject the loan on the basis of defaulters list, and peruse and scan the credibility of a person on its own. We have also sent these direction to the Reserve Bank of India governor.”