Still a PSU, through and through | india | Hindustan Times
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Still a PSU, through and through

india Updated: Mar 28, 2010 23:41 IST
Avijit Ghosal
Avijit Ghosal
Hindustan Times
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Sajid Mohammad (name changed) had an open-heart surgery in April 2009. He has been spending every afternoon for the past 10 days at the United Bank of India’s Free School Street Branch in Kolkata.

Mohammad, a computer dealer in the same locality, has several fixed deposit certificates with the bank and needs an interest accrued certificate to file his income tax returns. The deadline is March 31, 2010. He is yet to get it after 11 visits and more than 30 hours at the branch.

Mohammad’s experience represents what’s wrong with UBI. No wonder the bank doesn’t feature in the top 10 in any of the metros, including its headquarters Kolkata.

“Some days their computers don’t work, on others, some employee hasn’t come. On yet others, when both are in place, they are busy with sundry customers,” says Mohammad, who has remained loyal to the bank for more than three decades.

Poor performance in the utilisation of technology and a lackadaisical work culture (last position in overall experience) mark frequent customer complaints.

“UBI doesn’t perform well on parameters like return on net worth, return on assets, non-performing assets, cost of deposits, business and profit per employee in its peer group,” says Rajesh Agarwal, director, CD Equisearch, a three decade-old Kolkata-based equity research firm.

It doesn’t offer tele-banking or net banking services.

The management refused to speak to Hindustan Times for this report.

Its advertisement claims: “The bank that begins with U.”

“Hardly,” say bitter consumers like Mohammad.

At least one bank, it seems, hasn’t changed its public sector mindset — yet…. despite its Rs 330-crore IPO recently.