Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oriental Bank of Commerce-Carry the Bank in your wallet!!!




OBC’s advertisement in Business Line of 08/11/2011, with the tag line – Carry the Bank in your Wallet, attracted me to have a more detailed view of the various services its customers can avail at its ATM’s.
Well, as per the Bank’s website, the following ATM Services are being offered to the customers:

   -- Balance Inquiry – The latest clear balance in the linked accounts can be ascertained.
   -- Cash Withdrawal, Fast Cash – The basic function of an ATM.
   -- Mini Statement – Normally, a printout of the last 5 transactions can be obtained.
    -- PIN Change – Be careful to remember, the next time you use the ATM card.
    -- Funds transfer (only among accounts linked to a card) – Some banks allow funds transfer to non-linked accounts too.
    -- Cash/ Cheque Deposit in selected ATMs – Not a popular option in our country.
    -- Income Tax Payment – More publicity will attract customer’s to try this option.
    -- Cheque Status Inquiry – Customers need not call up the branch or the phone banking team. This reduces the number of calls to the Branch or Phone Banking Team.
    -- Stop Payment of Cheques – This has to be an online facility rather than an off-line, as off-line mode, will increase the customer’s complaints.
    -- POS facility Activation/ Deactivation – Seems to be a new feature.
    -- SMS Alert Registration/ Modification of SMS Alert Mobile Number – Good to have.
    -- MPAY Registration and De-registration – This also will reduce the burden on Branches and Phone Banking team.

OBC was founded by the scion of the Thapar Group i.e , Late Rai Bahadur Lala Sohan Lal, in Lahore  a prominent city of Pakistan.
The partition necessitated the shifting of the new banks’ registered office from Lahore to Amritsrar. It is to be noted that, the Late lala Karam Chand Thapar, the then Chairman of the Bank, in a unique gesture honoured the commitments made to the depositors from Pakistan and paid every rupee to its departing customers
Another challenging period was between 1970-76. At one time profit plummeted to Rs.175, and this prompted the owner of the bank, the Thapar House, to sell / close the bank. However the then employees and leaders of the Bank came forward to rescue the Bank. The owners were moved and had to change their decision of selling the bank and in turn they decided to improve the position of the bank with the active cooperation and support of all the employees. Their efforts bore fruits and performance of the bank improved significantly. This was the turning point in the history of the bank

The bank was nationalized on 15th April, 1980. At that time total working of the bank was Rs.483 crores having 19th position among the 20 nationalised banks.
In 1997, two Banks namely Punjab Co-operative Bank Ltd., and Bari Doab Bank Ltd., were amalgamated with the bank under Government of India, notification on 7th April.

However, for some strange reason, the banks’ website, does not mention the history of the Bank.