Priority Banking: The reality of services offered: Finance Trading Times

Priority Banking: The reality of services offered

I am fine with these indirect charges, as I will get Priority Banking / Wealth Management Services ?
That depends upon your personal expectations and comfort. Let me repeat what the list mentioned earlier and
Continuing further from last article Priority Banking / Wealth Management Services: Hidden Cost & Charges with Examples,Let's relook at the facilities which are being offered in the name of priority banking and the practical use of them - one by one:
These special and privileged services might be as follows:

1) A dedicated account manager allotted to you
Great - you have a dedicated qualified experienced banker for you. You can call him anytime (during business hours) and seek his professional advice. But you really need one? I personally had this Priority Banking / Wealth Management Services services with two premier banks of India, and all these relationship managers would do is to try and make you invest in insurance policies, ULIPS and other similar schemes, which will eventually earn commissions (for them and their banks).
Being aware of the financial world, I never found their advices to be the best, rather the ones which will lock me in for long term regular committment for any insurance scheme or investment plan.
Other than that, what for would you need a relationship manager? You will still have to do all the banking work through the paper based forms, or through internet (on your own)
Personally, I did not find any practical use of such relationship manager services.

2) A dedicated priority banking lounge in the bank branch
Wow - I get a big air conditioned place with comfortable sofas to relax. But who in this world has got the time to visit the branch? And for what?
With all services available through self care internet and phone banking, who visits the branch now-a-days?
What's that lounge and sofa good for me if I dont even go there?

3) A dedicated children's play area in the branch (depends on availability)
One of my bank also had a children's play area with a plastic slide and few soft balls for kids to play. Who would take kids to the branch and how long will you sit and relax there?

4) Dedicated Phone based services like request for cash, demand draft, etc. which can be provided to you at your doorstep
You need cash - no need to go the ATM. Just call your relationship manager and he will arrange to send cash at your doorstep. Sounds good? But hold on.
Cash deliveries may be restricted to only 1-2 registered addresses (home or office only), not everywhere.
There is no guarantee that you will get cash instantly - it may take few hours.
Once the cash carrying person arrives, you will still have to provide him with a signed cheque for the mentioned amount addressed to SELF. Basically, this cheque will then be submitted to the branch.

So now with all bank ATM's accepting all other bank's ATM cards, what is more convenient for me? Call the relationship manager, wait for cash to arrive, write a paper cheque and then get the cash or simply walk to the next door ATM and withdraw it with my card?
Do we really need these kind of priviledged services and is there a practical use of it?

5) A dedicated investment advisor who advises you how to effectively use your money for investing in various investment or insurance or tax saving products
Same as what I mentioned in 1 above. Advisory services are not the best for you, but usually the best commission earning schemes for the banks.

6) So called priority is given to you in case you wish to get a locker at a branch (depends upon availability)
I doubt that as there is no transparancy in this and everything is subject to availability. You cannot verify the availability.
I approached the bank branch where I had priority banking status and my relationship manager mentioned that all lockers are already occupied. Later, I got a call from him mentioning that locker can be made available provided I invest in a particular ULIP with an initial amount of five lakhs.
I asked him how is it that it was not available earlier and now it will be available if I sign up for that ULIP, his response was that one of the customers is leaving the locker. There is a long queue of locker applicants and I being priority customer will be given that provided I go for that ULIP scheme. I then asked him that this is indirect way of selling products, he started giving reasons of high rental money of the bank branch and so on.
Effectively, since there is no regulation or no transparancy, all these facilities are simply at bank's discretion. That is driven by what you invest as per their directions.
I dont think this is priority banking, rather forced selling.

7) So called reduced interest rates for any loan applications you make
Same as above. Loan applications are reviewed on a case by case basis and banks take a call on what rate they offer. Even if you are a priority banking customer, you may still end up getting same standard rates.
Moreover, dont expect and priority treatment during the application process. You will still have to visit the branch several times and fill in all the paperwork.

Going by the above points, do the Priority Banking / Wealth Management Services make sense? Not to me.

Priority Banking / Wealth Management Services: Services Offered and realistic usage

So finally, I de-graded my priority banking account to normal account (which I had signed up for) and the other Priority Banking which was offered to my by my bank as an "automatic" upgrade, I've discontinued their priorty services.

The fact is that all these services offered in the name of Priority Banking can be done on your own at the computer through internet banking. It is much more time saving than visiting the branch or even calling up your so called relationship manager.
Although it appears to be free of charges, it comes at a hidden cost, so beware of that.
Interested, see the List of Banks offering Priority Banking / Wealth Management Services
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