I write these words to you amidst the ruins of yet another bank – Global Trust Bank. While other private banks have fallen by the wayside earlier, none of them affected me. I did not bank with them and neither did I know of any friends that did. However, the crash of GTB was a bitter pill to swallow. Here was a bank that I held an account with, a bank that I had trusted and recommended and it had fallen.
I guess when you see so much money, a few rupees here or there makes no difference to you. After all most of the time, it is someone else’s money. I am sure that fact makes it easier for you to tie it up in loans that, you most probably know, will never be repaid. Let me introduce you to a few facts about your customers.
Your average customer works a minimum of 10 hours a day, and this does not include commuting time. We give up time with family and friends, skip movies and picnics, and miss our child’s growing years, all this so that we can put something aside to fall back on when the times are tough.
We dream of our children finishing their higher studies and put aside money so that they will have the best education on offer.
We dream of our retirement years, years when we can romance our life-partners at length, and cootchie-coo without the worries of jobs and timings. We hope that we will not burden our children and will be able to take care of ourselves.
When we deposit our hard-earned money with you, it is not some printed-paper that we put into your hands, what we leave in your safekeeping are our dreams, aspirations, hopes and plans.
It is the loss of that, more than the loss of some paper that hurts most.
When you sit across a table at a 5-star hotel and wheel and deal, does it ever cross your mind that over 90% of your depositors cannot afford a meal at the restaurant?
When you walk across a well-manicured golf course, throwing away hard-earned honest money, does it occur to you that over 90% of your depositors would not be allowed in the front gate of the club?
When you pop the champagne at the completion of a deal that you know will only fatten your pocket and that of a trickster, don’t you smell the odor of the sweat that was broken to earn that money?
Life is not a movie, but a statement from a movie aimed at children is apt here – With great power comes great responsibility.
Did it occur to you that it was a good lesson to teach your child? Did it occur to you that the best way to teach your child that lesson would have been through example?
Even at this moment, does it occur to you that there are people, people who trusted you, who are begging and borrowing so that they will have food until the next salary?
What do you have to answer when someone asks you, what you did with the responsibility we entrusted you?
Yours without faith,