When Zirakpur resident Anita Goyal's personal loan application for Rs 10 lakh was rejected by ICICI Bank, she was unpleasantly surprised. Shock followed, when the bank told her the reason: There were already nine loans outstanding in her name, even though she had not even applied for any earlier. As it turns out, there's a lot in a name.
The nine loans that gave the woman a bad rating as per the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL) were actually in the name of another Anita Goyal, a resident of Sector 18 in Chandigarh. The two women's common bank - Punjab National Bank (PNB), Sector 17 - had mixed up the information given to CIBIL, for which the district consumer forum has now fined PNB Rs 15,000.
PNB has been held deficient in service for failing to get her name cleared from the CIBIL negative ratings despite her requests after her September 2011 loan plea was rejected by ICICI. Technically, her loan plea was rejected by ICICI saying that she did "not fulfill credit/eligibility norms", and the forum did not link the rejection directly with the CIBIL report. Therefore, ICICI was not made a party to the case.
In her complaint, the victim Anita said that ICICI bank gave her the CIBIL consumer credit report that showed that there were a number of loans pending in her name. PNB had sought dismissal of the complaint, saying that the mistake was never brought to the PNB's notice nor was any complaint filed.
But the forum ruled, "The circumstances establish that it was on account of the carelessness or negligence on the part of the officials of PNB that while giving information to CIBIL, the list of loan accounts of another Anita Goyal, resident of Sector 18, was given against the customer ID of the complainant. She had to face harassment on account of the entry of wrong customer ID made by the official of the bank."
"The contention of bank that it was a technical error cannot be accepted because the data in the computer is fed by the officials of the bank," the order said.