Money & Banking

Watch out, defaulters! Banks have detectives on your tail

G Naga Sridhar Hyderabad | Updated on August 02, 2018 Published on August 02, 2018

Sleuths being enlisted in secret ops to trace delinquent debtors

In true filmy style, detectives will soon track loan defaulters. With mounting bad loans, banks are hiring detectives to trace vanishing customers.

About half a dozen banks, both public and private, have initiated the process of entrusting the job to private agencies.

Job description

Allahabad Bank, for instance, is in the process of hiring detectives. “We have notified for empanelment of agents. We expect to have detectives on the job in about a month,” said a senior official of the bank.

According to the notification, these agents are being tasked with tracing and providing information of missing or absconding borrowers, guarantors, co-borrowers, and directors in the case of business loans. The scope of the investigation is actually wider. For instance, even if a defaulter is in touch with the bank, the agents are being asked to find out other information that could help in the recovery of loans. This could include information on undisclosed banks accounts, credit lines, assets and other businesses.

In addition to Allahabad Bank, Punjab National Bank and IFCI Ltd, too, have hired detectives.

It’s all hush-hush

According to a senior executive of a leading private bank, the work is being carried out “without much noise” for fear that there might be a “hue and cry” from certain sections.

There is a thin line dividing good and bad recovery agents/detectives, and it has the potential to whip up a controversy, he added.

About 10 years ago, in the wake of a global financial crisis, many banks used detectives. They were, however, replaced by the banks’ own teams or franchisees. The detectives are now staging a comeback.

“It’s true that banks are using detectives, but dealing with banks is not easy and viable,” said DK Giri, founder, Chairman & Managing Director, Sharp Detectives Pvt Ltd, the oldest agency in the South.

They are a few agencies in Delhi and other metros, which are being deployed. “Not many big agencies take up bank contracts due to lower remuneration and payment delays. Smaller agents/agencies might take up the job,” he added.

Published on August 02, 2018
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