In the industrial suburb of Sarjapur in Bengaluru, 47-year-old Ram Mitra (name changed) runs a 10X10ft carpentry workshop. The shop sits precariously on an encroached footpath. It does not get too many visitors. There is one three-legged stool. Everything in the shop is movable except for a fixture atop which sits a small shrine. Almost a metaphor for the one thing he holds on to—faith. Ram Mitra was also, until recently, the owner of a Kotak Mahindra Bank credit card.
The financial web
Selling to those who can’t pay: human cost of modern banking
From Kotak Mahindra Bank to Justdial and Extramarks, the Mitras got caught in a web of misselling. The more they tried to break free, the more they got sucked right in
The Mitra household has been at the centre of misselling. From one product three years ago, they fell into a financial rabbit hole with eight different products from Kotak Mahindra Bank, Justdial, Vijaya Bank and Extramarks
The Mitras, whose annual household income is about Rs 3 lakh, were victims of rising aspirations, a lack of awareness and canny salesmen selling complex financial products
The RBI has only recently come around to the idea of misselling by agents. Its Ombudsman does not have a category that even recognises misselling of different banking products
Aggressive sales tactics along with lopsided economics of taking products to the mass market segment make for a misselling ticking bomb