This is an open letter to the Bank Negara governor, Datuk Nor Shamsiah binti Mohd Yunus and the CEO of Alliance Bank, Joel Kornreich
Date: 3rdJune 2021
- Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Prime Minister Of Malaysia
Prime Minister’s Office
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia
- Datuk Nor Shamsiah binti Mohd Yunus
Bank Negara Malaysia ,
Jalan Dato’ Onn,
P.O. Box 10922,
50929 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 603-2698-8044 / 2698 9044 / 9179 2888
( U.P:Hasjun Hashim
b/p Pengarah, LINK and Regional office)
- Joel Kornreich.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad
3rd Floor Menara Multi-Purpose Capital Square
8 Jalan Munshi Abdullah
50100 Kuala Lumpur
I write this letter after all attempts to communicate with Alliance Bank and Bank Negara failed to resolve or give answers to simple questions and issues faced by a common citizen. Bad public relations, unnecessary bureaucracy, unkept promises and passing the buck here and there seems to be the order of the day. The rakyat are already facing so much hardship because of the pandemic and here the bank is adding salt to the wound.
This is a case of an innocent woman, Madam Malini A/P Balcas who is unable to open a Bank Account in her previous Bank or in other private bank; yet nobody is able to answer her queries, give solutions and solve the mystery. Her attempt to open a bank account in other banks like Alliance Bank, Maybank, Public Bank, BSN, Hong Leong all failed. No proper reason was ever given.
BACKGROUND – HOW IT ALL STARTED
Sometime in January 2018 – 3 years ago, Malini was having a problem accessing her online Alliance Bank account and was not able to use her ATM card as well. She reported to the Alliance Bank Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam Branch. Alliance Bank checked and said, her account is still active and there is no issue. Yet in May the same year, Alliance Bank called her to inform that someone else is using her account and her account is blocked for investigation purposes.
Malini then made a police report at Bangi police station (SRI MUDA/010098/18) stating that from a conversation with the Encik Harudin, the Alliance Bank representative, her account had been misused and that there was a loss of her money in the account of RM200. Her account was later released by the Alliance Bank and the balance of the money, RM200 was returned. Thereafter she closed the account.
COMERCIAL BANK SAYS BLACKLISTED BY BANK NEGARA
After she closed her account, she realized that she was unable to open a new bank account in BSN and Hong Leong Bank. Both parties said her account had been blacklisted by Bank Negara.
BANK NEGARA SAYS CHECK WITH CTOS AND ALLIANCE BANK
Malini then goes to Bank Negara. Bank Negara told her to do two things – check the CCRIS/CTOS report and check with Alliance Bank, which had probably blacklisted her.
She then goes and checks with CTOS on 18 July 2020 which showed no record of bankruptcy or blacklist.
Following the second instruction, Malini sent an email to Alliance Bank on 20 July 2020 requesting them to release her name from the blacklist and seek their advice on the procedure to clear her name. The following day, Siti Aisyah from Alliance Bank said that she received her correspondence and have forwarded it to the respective departments.
She then came to the PSM Service centre after not getting any feedback from Alliance Bank. PSM then assisted her to write a letter on 28 August 2020, addressed to Bank Negara’s Hasjun Hashim and Joel Kornreichof the CEO if Alliance Bank addressing the same issue and seeking a solution.
On the 3rd of September, Bank Negara said they have referred the matter to Alliance Bank for the response and on 4 September 2020, Alliance bank replied that the matter is being reviewed and that she will be informed of an answer within 14 days.
ALLIANE BANK REPLIES BUT NO MENTION OF THE BLACKLIST
On 15 September 2020, Mary Magaline John, Head of the Customer Care unit of Alliance Bank replied the letter by stating that they have investigated the concern and the bank’s decision remains the same. That is, they would not consider her request to open an account. This was the same as communicated before. Once again no reason was given as to why her account number is blacklisted or why she cannot open an account there.
PATHETIC CENTRAL BANK WASHES ITS HAND
On 10 November 2020, since the Alliance Bank could not give an answer we went back to Bank Negara. The problem was not only about Alliance bank but it was also about why she could not open an account in any other bank. So on 12 November, Bank Negara said that Alliance bank had already replied to our letter dated 15 September 2020 though that 15 September reply from Alliance Bank did not solve the problem at all. Bank Negara said that it has no power on internal bank decisions not to allow a citizen to open a bank account. They again advised me to ask the respective bank despite the fact that Bank Negara has the power to regulate these banks. What a pathetic response from Bank Negara. This was communicated via email.
Not satisfied, on 16th November, I spoke to Mr Ridzwan from Bank Negara. He told me how he is not able to do much and told me to try and seek a meeting with Alliance bank and gave me their numbers because it appears all the problems started after the episode in Alliance bank.
ALLIANCE BANK TAKES US FOR ANOTHER RIDE
On the 24th of the same month- November 2020, I spoke to Nazila from Alliance Bank seeking a meeting. Nazila said they cannot entertain my request but asked me to write in. I said I just want some simple answer if her account is blacklisted or not. Nazila tells me to first send a letter of authorization and then told me to write all my questions and gave me assurance that they will answer each of my questions. I did relate to her how frustrated I was, and she repeated herself, saying please put in your questions, and we will answer each of these questions.
I then got the authorization letter and asked the bank three simple questions in a letter dated 9 January 2021.
The three questions were:
1. Did Alliance Bank blacklist her name?
2. If yes, can you remove the blacklist so she can open a bank account with another bank? If you cannot remove it, then advise us on what can be done to remove her from the blacklist?
3. Police, CTOS and Bank Negara have all denied blacklisting her number. Can you shed some light on this matter and give her some closure to her issue?
The same day they acknowledged our letter and first asked for two days to reply and then asked another eleven days. I was quite thrilled because finally Alliance Bank was going to reply.
Finally on 2 February 2021, they sent me a letter stating that they have replied to the client, wasting my time in getting the letter of authorisation. To Malini, they gave the same answer as on 15 August 2020. Again they did not reply to the three questions and they never gave any answer. They just took us for a ride and gave us false hope.
Malini is so stressed out. The banks have inflicted mental torture. Because she doesn’t have an account, she cannot get I-sinar, I-lestari, salary, and before this BPR.
What is the problem with Bank Negara and Alliance Bank? Can’t they entangle such a simple question and if the RM200 is the issue, why are they treating this like a National Security threat and why is a citizen denied her rights?
For the record, Malini has also checked with the police and the police including the Commercial Crime Unit says that there is no issue with her name or her IC number. Why can’t she open a bank account?
I just hope that this letter illustrates how terrible you are at handling public complaints. Now after three years, she has yet to get an answer. Let’s see if Malini’s problem ever gets solved.
Parti Sosialis Malaysia