The processing fees for a personal loan at a bank were different when I enquired on two different days. How do I find the right amount?

—Waziuddin Malik

All banks have been asked to display information about their interest rates and charges prominently at their branches and on websites. The format to showcase the information is prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India; banks are free to modify this without curtailing the scope of disclosures. Banks have been asked to ensure that only the latest updated information is shown on their websites and that it is easily accessible from the home page. You may also contact the branch manager for such information.

My credit card had a Rs30,000 limit. Once, I wanted to pay Rs10,000 for a purchase, but the transaction was not approved on account of insufficient funds. Five days later, I received an SMS telling me the limit had been reduced. I was prompt in making payments and never defaulted. The bank claims it has the power to reduce the limit without consulting me. Can a bank really do so?

— Radhakrishnan

The credit card issuer has the right to change the credit limit. Banks send a copy of the “Terms and Conditions" (T&Cs) to the credit card holder when the card is issued to him. These clearly mention that the bank, at its sole discretion, will determine the card member’s credit limit and cash withdrawal limit. The bank also has the right to review the limits periodically, and increase or decrease these based on criteria that the bank may determine as it sees necessary.

In the name of...: A bank can accept cheques drawn in the name of the guardian if the account holder is a minor.

I had a salary account with a private bank. Three months after I left my employer, I noticed that the zero balance facility had been changed to a minimum limit of Rs10,000. The bank said this was done because no salary had been credited by the employer in three months. Is this in line with the existing bank laws?

— Papri Saha

Yes, the bank may change the zero balance limit to a certain minimum deposit limit if the salary is not credited to the account. The time limit for making this change, however, varies from bank to bank.

If no salary credits are made to the account for a certain period, say, a continuous period of six months, the bank reserves the right to change the status of the salary account to a normal savings account, with or without intimation to the account holder. Also, the terms and conditions as applicable to a normal savings account would apply from the date of change of status.

I have opened a savings account in the name of my daughter, who is 6. I am the guardian in the account. Can a cheque drawn in favour of the guardian be deposited in a minor’s account? Can she operate it on her own? What happens when the child attains majority?

— Vijay Ranjan Sahay

Yes, most banks would accept cheques issued in the name of the guardian too. Such an account may be operated by the guardian or by the minor, if she is over 10 years.

In the case of a minor’s account which is operated by the guardian, the right of the guardian to operate the account will cease upon the minor attaining majority. Any balance in the account will be deemed to be the exclusive property of the minor who has attained majority, and further withdrawals from the account will be allowed to the erstwhile minor alone after the procedural formalities have been completed.

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