J&K Bank customers coerced to buy insurance products

Scores of Jammu and Kashmir Bank customers have accused bank executives of coercing them to buy life insurance policies offered by the PNB MetLife, which is in violation of the J&K Bank’s guidelines.

According to J&K Bank’s guidelines viz-a-viz purchase of life insurance policy offered by PNB MetLife at Bank branches is “purely voluntary”.

“The purchase by a bank’s customer of any insurance products is purely voluntary, and is not linked to availment of any other facility from the bank,” read a J&K bank’s guideline.

However, in contravention of laid down parameters, scores of branch heads and bank executives are reportedly coercing the bank customers to purchase the insurance products.

“As I applied for restructuring of my bank finance, the bank executive forced me to purchase life insurance policy though I am already insured from another company. It is an unethical approach but I could not have annoyed the official given the fact that he was the signing authority for me to avail fresh borrowing,” said an aggrieved customer.

Another customer said he was made to purchase life insurance policy last year. “But due to economic depression in Kashmir since last year, I am not able to pay the premium amount which will lead to my last year’s premium amount going down the drain.”

J&K Bank entered into an agreement with two insurance companies, one is non-life insurance products offered by Bajaj Allianz and other one is life insurance products being offered by PNB Metlife at J&K’s bank branches.

CMD J&K Bank was not available for comment.

However, a senior bank executive said that the bank employees have nothing to do with selling insurance products. “No bank official can coerce any customer to purchase insurance products being offered by insurance companies with whom J&K Bank has an agreement. If anybody purchases any product, it is out of his/her own will, not by force.”

He said the sales team members of these insurance companies who sell their insurance products are present at bank branches.