Q7. Ethical Issues Regarding Illegal Transfer of Funds from Dormant Account

 Q7: You are working as an executive in a nationalised bank for several years. One day one of your close colleagues tells you that her father is suffering heart disease and needs surgery immediately to survive. She also tells you she has no insurance and the operation will cost about 10 lakh. You are also aware of the fact that her husband is no more and that she is from a lower middle class family. You are empathetic about her situation. However, apart from expressing your sympathy, you do not have the resources to fund her.

A few weeks later, you ask her about the well-being of her father and she informs you about his successful surgery and that he is recovering. She then confides in you that the bank manager was kind enough to facilitate the release of 10 lakh from a dormant account of someone to pay for the operation with a promise that it should be confidential and be repaid at the earliest. She has already started paying it back and will continue to do so until it is all returned.

(a) What are the ethical issues involved?

(b) Evaluate the behaviour of the bank manager from an ethical point of view.

(c) How would you react to the situation? (Answer in 250 words)  


Stakeholders: You, colleague and her father, bank manager, unknown account holder, bank

In this case, the bank manager due to his compassion and personal relationship with his colleague has misused his power and authority to illegally transfer the funds of an unknown account holder.

(a) Ethical Issues Involved

·         Illegally transferring the funds of an account holder without his consent to the account of a friend

·         Breach of privacy and confidentiality of customer

·         The ethical conflict between means and end, i.e. to achieve the noble end, wrong means are  adopted

(b) Behaviour of Bank Manager

The bank manager has behaved unprofessionally treating the money of the accountholders as his own money. His action is also illegal as no bank can permit the transfer of money from the account of a dormant account holder to a third party for whatever reason.  The Bank manager has also set a bad precedent which may allow other bank officials to perform similar illegal actions in future.

(c) Reaction to Situation

I will show sympathy for the father of my colleague, but also apprise her about the illegality of the transfer of money. I will discuss the matter with the Bank Manager and request him to sanction the loan to my colleague legally and immediately transfer the amount to replenish the dormant account. If the bank manager refuses to follow the legal procedure, I will report the matter to the senior officer in writing so that appropriate legal and disciplinary action can be taken against the bank manager and the colleague, and such incidents are not repeated in future.  (263 words)

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