ICICI Bank Informative - Perils of taking a home loan from ICICI Bank
Sometime in the year 2006 my wife and I (Both NRIs for the last 8 years) decided to invest some of our hard earned money into the booming housing market in India . We purchased a house in Gurgaon with the help of a home loan from ICICI Bank. Following were the experiences (quite the opposite of dreaming of buying a place in India!) in dealing with ICICI Bank over a period of two and a half years:
1. Opening an Account: Compared to a day in the US, it took me a whopping four months to open up an NRE account! (They told me the signatures do not match the passport. Well I have never changed my signature. Another time they required additional documents and list goes on and on)
2. Customer Service: The customer service is simply aweful. Most of the times the home loan folks at 1866ICICI4U just don't know enough about the case. But they are always courteous enough to ask for all the loan and personal information only to inform you "Sorry sir. Please contact your relationship manager. or Sorry Sir we won't be able to help you on this." Of course, there is never a manager available to escalate the issue.
3. Selling the house: Unlike an Escrow period in the US, the home loan has to be fully paid before releasing any papers. Well good luck if you intend to sell the house and have the proceeds from the buyer to pay off the loan. There is no such thing in India. BTW what good is a relationship manager when all they can give you are canned responses. "Sorry Sir. This is our policy...Sorry Sir. Sorry Sir".
4. Web Site: Logging into the site is probably the easiest thing to do. However, trying to find information related to your accounts is anyone's guess. Most of the times clicking on home loan account returns a "Our system is down. We are currently experiencing difficulties. Sorry for the inconvenience"
Conclusion: Invest in a country where you live. And if you do plan on investing in India, DO NOT BORROW FROM ICICI BANK.
While Ms Kochar and Mr Kamath are busy giving big presentations about the opening up of Indian Financial Markets, poor borrowers are suffering tremendously. And BTW when they say SORRY they really don't mean it. What a shame!!!
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