Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Looking Back – 41

BGR – The Man with a ‘Difference!’
With the advent of computerization and implementation of core banking solution in the banking industry, the location of balancing differences in the branches of banks has become a thing of the past and is only history now. The expertise in locating the differences in the balancing books was a rare commodity in those days. Only very few people were gifted in this art. Our BGR was among those few. He had a knack of striking at the very root of the problem (difference). While most of the employees were searching for the differences in the most improbable places, BGR would straightaway go to the most probable location and announce his success! That was the kind of skill he had developed over a period of time in this rare art!
The Operation of locating the balancing differences at the Langford Town branch soon started under the leadership of BGR. The first difference to be attacked was under CDB. Believe it or not! This head was tallied in one single day! But the tallying of SB accounts was the hardnut. The team first focused on tallying the control register with the daybook that was pending for over three months. It took nearly a week to tally the control register. Thereafter the individual ledgers were taken up.
BGR made it a point to devote maximum time after business hours for locating the differences to give a lead. B Shashikanth, Accountant, joined him by devoting his major time. Vijayashankar, the fastest adding machine operator, helped the team by checking all the totals. Some other employees also started extending their helping hands. BGR, Shashikanth and Sub-Manger B V Shenoy used to sit up to 8 pm daily after office hours (4 pm) along with a daily wager. They came to the office on Sundays and holidays also. Through concerted efforts, the branch could manage to submit a ‘NIL’ PR-18 return for January 1990. The efforts were very much appreciated by CO/DO. Thus BGR had put forward his first step in his mission. The employees were also fully enthused to take the branch forward.
BGR in the Crossfire of Father-Son Tussle!
Whoever has worked in the advances department of a bank is aware of the importance of obtention of an Acknowledgement of Debt (AOD) before the date of limitation. For most of the loans the limitation period is three years. Bank expects the Manager to take the AOD immediately after two years to avoid complications in the last minute. Otherwise, a suit is to be filed in the court for recovery before the limitation sets in.
There were a god number of loans at the Langford Town branch for which the limitation date was fast approaching. BGR managed to take them in most of the cases. However, he was stuck in one particular case. The branch had granted a loan of Rs50,000 to the son of the Manager of St. Martha’s Hospital. The bank had also taken the co-obligation of the father for the loan. While BGR could secure the AOD from the son, his father flatly refused to sign. He told BGR that his son was irresponsible and the bank could proceed with doing whatever it deemed fit! BGR explained to him that he would also be dragged to court unnecessarily. The gentleman told BGR that if his son wanted him to appear in court he was fine with it!
As the limitation was setting in two days, BGR contacted the Circle Office who advised him to handover the papers to the advocate immediately for filing the suit on the next day. Accordingly, he handed over all the papers to the advocate requesting him to file the suit on the next day. However, as a last attempt he met the father again in the evening at his residence and pleaded with him to sign the AOD so that he and his son would get time to sort out the matter with the bank and avoid the legal expenses. Impressed with BGR’s persuasive tactics, the gentleman signed the AOD at the last minute. BGR then telephoned the advocate asking him not to file the case. Needless to say the advocate was not quite impressed with the last minute withdrawal of the case!
BGR gets Lucky with the Arrival of Guruvaiah
BGR was unlucky when he got a fishy Accountant in place of the messy Accountant. He was unable to get any productive work done by the new Accountant because of his attitude. BGR entrusted the next important task of renewal of expired credit limits to B Shashikanth, by relieving him for half-a-day from the routine work. He did a fantastic job and within about two months most of the expired limits could be renewed. Seeing the progress at the branch, the CO took a decision to replace the fishy Accountant by another officer called Guruvaiah.
This time BGR was quite lucky. Guruvaiah turned out to be a humble, obedient and dedicated Officer with eagerness to accept challenges. BGR asked him to focus on LPD accounts. Guruvaiah told him that he could handle every aspect except drafting letters. BGR told him to furnish him all details to help him out. Guruvaiah was able to streamline the entire department over a period of three months. He collected all the pending AODs, kept the loan papers in order, visited the places of the borrowers and made substantial recoveries even in those accounts where the previous Accountant had remarked - “the borrower is not traceable”. A soft-spoken man, Guruvaiah was able to even convince the hardcore defaulters to repay!
BGR in a Detective Role!
The branch had a poultry advance under loans past due (LPD) category with an outstanding of Rs11.50 lakh. The loan had been disbursed 8 years ago. The original loan was for Rs10 lakh and the borrower had repaid Rs5 lakh.  But thereafter he made no repayments and with the accumulation of interest the dues mounted to Rs11.50 lakh. The previous Accountant (Messy) had told BGR that the borrower was not traceable. He also told him that when he visited his residence the security guard had refused to allow him inside. The earlier Manager and Accountant had not even bothered to collect the telephone number of the borrower.
BGR could not understand how an account with such large dues could be treated under ‘borrower not traceable category’! He came to know that the poultry farm was located in Jalahalli near the Farm house of Feroz Khan, the famous Bollywood actor. One Saturday evening he took the messy Accountant with him in his car and reached the place via Peenya.
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
30th October 2012

No comments: