KPR's Blog

My Memoirs at Federal Bank – Part II

Posted in Uncategorized by K P Ramachandran on June 11, 2019

Tumultuous seventies, in a spree of socio-political reforms Indira Gandhi was toying with the idea of nationalising private Banks. Fear of take over seized the Federal Bank too. Our MD made a pre-emptive strike by confirming all trainees as clerks. On January 1970 I became a permanent staff on the payrolls of Federalbank. My monthly salary was around Rs.200/. It was a lot more huge a sum than now. For a comfortable sustenance covering boarding and lodging , Rs.100/ was enough in those days in Trivandrum. I still had another 100 for personal indulgences. My salad days! Federalbank was expanding its network base at incredible succession. Not a week passed without a branch being opened somewhere in the State. A branch was opening at Poochakkal too – 3/4 kilometres from my home at Thycattusserry. Obviously I was one of the first to be counted for the branch. The prospect did not attract me. The image of a bank  clerk- that too a scheduled Private Bank- would not fit into the expectations of our village folk about me. My father commanding a status and respect of an upper middle class family his son was destined to occupy a position above the clerk in social reckoning in those days. Banking job has appreciated phenomenally since then and today a banking job is a dream job for even professionally and academically brilliant youth. Hence I requested our MD to reconsider my posting to Poochakkal. But the MD in his characteristic persuasive tone asked me to clear away my misconceptions and get ready for the new assignment. I was going to be posted there as what would appear to be the second in command. I would be able to play a much bigger and responsible role than anywhere else as a clerk. He assured my father who was sceptical from the very beginning, that he won’t have to regret long, for his son would be senior manager not long before and that bigger prospects awaited him. He made it a point to invite my father as a dignitary at the inaugural function of the Poochakkal branch.

MD’s words were prophetic. They were not mere propitiatory promises made to please a father who was not impressed with his son’s banking job. My term at Poochakkal opened for me a field of experience that involved me at the entire gamut of banking from seed to fruit. Poochakkal was a typical rural Bank. It was to be the trusted financial institution of a whole village community for all their needs. The style of functioning was more personalised than institutionalised. Each customer wanted to feel that it was his Bank and a personal warmth underlay all dealings. The manager Joseph Maveli himself a native forged links with customers appropriate to their standing and worth. During those formative months at Poochakkal I became unconsciously morphed in to a banker. I had been customised as a full fledged banking professional by the time I was promoted and posted at Alleppy as Accountant.



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