Best bank in India – With survey & Customer reviews

POSTED BY Jagoinvestor ON October 22, 2012 COMMENTS (133)

Which is the best bank in India? Is it yours ? In this article, we will look at the top 6 parameters which define a good bank and look at various Indian banks and how they fared on those parameters. The best way to find out how good a bank is to ask the existing account holders. So I ran a big survey on the topic of “Which is the best bank in India?” and a huge 2,418 people took that survey!

In the survey we counted how many people had a particular bank account and it was not a surprise that 76% of the market share was from the top 4 banks which were State Bank of India (SBI bank) , ICICI bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank . Rest 24% consisted of all the other banks combined. Other than this, we had also asked how long were their bank accounts . 77% of the bank accounts were at least 3 yrs old, which means that a person taking the survey had a fair understanding of his/her bank. Below is the graph showing the exact numbers

Indian banks market share

6 parameters of a Great bank

Banking is the core financial service any individual uses. There are hundreds of bank in India with millions of bank accounts and a person might have no other financial product or investment, but he will always have a bank account. One has to deal with banks all the time, be it credit card, home loan (Read Best Bank for Home Loan), auto loan, personal loans or any normal banking service, so one can not escape banking.

So its very crucial that one has a great bank that treats it’s customers well. So what defines a great bank? What we did, is define 6 parameters on which a bank can be judged.

1. Customer Care of the bank

For any issue we call our bank customer care, the quality of a bank customer care shows how much care a bank wants to take of their customers. Customer care is what you would need a lot of times and it’s of great importance in choosing a bank. This is where the maximum number of interactions happen.

2. Core/Basic Banking services provided by the bank

Core banking means the real banking services which are the base services. Facilities like cheque issue, money transfer from one account to another, Demand Drafts, Debit card issue, Interest paid on the account and other core activities. These are the services which have to be there no matter when, other advanced things are not present. These services form 90% of what you need from the bank. Ergo, these banking services are a must.

3. Advanced Banking services provided by the bank

Advanced services are those banking services which are over and above the core banking services. There are the latest technologies which the bank could have adopted. Some of the examples of these are providing IMPS money transfer service, Prepaid recharge and various other such add-on like services. They are “good to have” services, but not must have services. In this era of technology, it’s a prudent thing to have a bank which offers these kinds of services.

4. Online Facilities provided by the bank

The face of banking is changing, A lot of bank customers have totally shifted to online services. Its only the in the worst case scenarios that one visits the bank physically. Else, everything is done online . So do go look at the bank’s online facilities. For example, when I needed a Demand Draft for some purpose, all I did was to put a request to create the DD in my ICICI Bank through net banking and opted to collect it from the branch in next 2-3 days. I got a notification on sms and on email when the DD was ready and I could go collect it anytime. So the next time I passed by my bank, it took me just 10 min to collect it. No time wasted! There was also an option to get it delivered at my home at nominal charge. Its generally said that HDFC Netbanking and ICICI Netbanking is one of the best among banks in India. Things like these matter a lot in today’s fast paced world where you dont have much time to go to bank physically.

5. Transparency maintained by the bank

This is a crucial aspect. How transparent is your bank to you when it comes to charges, facilities, penalties and the offers it gives you on some services? Is your bank too opaque? Does it make life easy for you or tough? One simple example that comes to mind is regarding opening of a PPF account in SBI. There have been so many instances where the SBI bank officials have not been very transparent regarding the rules. Then there was one instance where Axis bank was not very transparent to one of our readers when taking a home loan and actually sold him a policy without his permission. So it really is a big parameter to look at, in a bank.

6. Overall Attitude of the bank towards its customers

And finally, at the end of the day, you have to look at your bank attitude towards you as customer. Does it really treat you as king or trash? How do you get treated when you walk inside the bank? How are you treated on phone with customer care? Does you bank understand that your time is precious and tries to help you, or just looks at you as just another target?

Which is the best bank in India & their rankings ?

In the survey, we had asked from people the 3 things

  • Name of their bank
  • How old is their banking relationship
  • How do they rank their bank on these above 6 parameters

Based on the 2418 answers in the survey, we have created the following result table which shows you how well each bank fared on each parameter. We will look at total 25 banks , the top 10 banks in India and then next 15 banks . “Very Bad” equals 1 and “Very good” equals 5 marks.  The table shows the average marks obtained by a particular bank . At some places you can see the green background which shows that the bank was in top 5 position. This is done for top 10 banks and next 15 banks also .

Best Banks in India

Top Indian Banks as per Survey

If you look at the above table, and look at the banks which have got the average of more than 4 marks as total, we get total 14 banks with more than 4 marks. Note that the names are considered as per survey results only and based on real feedback.

  • ICICI Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • Axis Bank
  • CitiBank
  • IDBI Bank
  • Kotak Bank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Syndicate Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • Yes Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Karnataka Bank
  • HSBC Bank

15 Real life Experiences from Bank Customers

Here are some of the comments made by people on their banks in the survey. I am putting some of them here for you to read.

Rakesh say’s“I observed that most of the times in ICICI Bank, customers are taken for granted…I dont see it as an attitude problem with the individuals working there…it has happened in many of the branches I visited…Infact their Bank by Phone assistance is more courteous than the actual working class”

Aditya Karnik says“One of the branch of HDFC Bank in Nashik city was having some issues with system and hence all cash transactions were stopped. Executives at the counter couldn’t give satisfactory answers as to what led to the issue and rudely asked customers to go to some other branch within city to transact. Well I can understand systemic issue but communication could have been better.”

Mahesh says“Once my mother, aged 50, had gone to Union Bank of India, Chembur Branch for submitting a form for FD and by mistake she had signed below the dotted line. For that one of the lady staff over there humiliated my mother in front of everyone. My mother came home with a teary eye. We were so pissed off by the way they treated such an elderly woman that we shifted our account to another branch. Some one from the bank said that everyone in the bank is fed up of her temperament and irrational behavior.”

Arindam says“A recent incident occurred when I need my new address to be updated. Normally, Customers are asked to visit the Bank to update all the records (In the year 2012). However, in this case, I was asked to raise a Service Request through online net banking and the issue has been resolved within 24 hours and I have received my current month’s e-statement with the new address. That’s a fabulous support by ICICI Bank.”

Pradeep says“I asked for Home loan amortization through e-mail. They did not reply. After 2-3 e-mails, I wrote a strong e-mail to DGM and then got a reply from SBI. Most staff do not know simple rules and regulation on Home loan prepayment. They are also ignorant of latest decisions. This is terrible.”

Nilufer says “Whenever we need to contact the servicing branch of HDFC Bank, their numbers are connected to the customer care numbers, where 8 out of 10 times there is only a machine talking to you.. There is no one in person who one can talk to about an urgent query.. this pisses me off no end… At-last i had to call one of my previous contacts (who has now got transferred from my branch) on his cell, to get the info on my query. In an emergency, only a machine talking to you, is no 24×7 service which these banks claim to give.. Forget after office hours, even during office hours we dont get a human being taking care of us on those lines.. atlast i had to call the branch manager on his cell to get things sorted out… pathetic customer care service where only a machine is left to service its customers with that no ending options that it keeps blabbing out…” 

Subradas says “Whenever I talk to bank officials they try to bullie. Either they knowingly do it or because of their ignorance but they do it. They try to bluff at the first go. It seems that Kotak Bank has recruited the worst manpower of the industry. They have tried to shift/do most of the work on back end making the process time consuming. They have delegated hardly any power to their executives sitting in the branch. To close an account it may take 7 days to more than a month where as it takes less than an hour in most of the PSU banks.”

Devendra says – “While my son was proceeding to the United States for higher education, I wanted a certificate from SBI that i could meet more than Rs. 8 lakhs for his studies. Since I was earning more than this amount and also had money in my account, I thought it was quite easy task. Yet the bank refused to issue the  certificate. I then approached Corporation Bank and got the certificate.”

Sumit says“They had called me to give free Financial Planning advice from a CFP. The fixed a time for meeting and the adviser did not appeared on that day. I did not expected this from a bank like HDFC. Post that, there has been few more appointments taken and shuffled and I haven’t met any adviser yet. (incident took 1 month back.)”

Rahul says – “I wanted to prepay the Education loan taken from Andhra bank, Howrah branch. I had to travel to the branch more than 10 times to get my loan account closed even after making the full payment. The total process took me over 3 months.On the last day, i sent my brother with an authorized letter to collect the hypothetical LIC policies. They confirmed earlier that they would deliver it to him but denied on the spot. Ultimately, i had to rush to the bank in high fever to get those documents. I literally scolded them at this behavior. Another big dismay was the interest rebate- The loan policy document mentioned that a 50 bps rebate in overall interest would be allowed if interest payments are regular. To regularize interest payments, i opened another savings a/c in the bank through which they can collect interest payments every month.

I also gave written application for direct debit from my savings a/c to loan a/c and ensured that there was adequate balance in the savings a/c at all times. Yet, i was not given any rebate in interest. As mentioned earlier, i had to scold them on the last day- you can easily understand the scene at that point of time. I preferred to get the a/c closed asap irrespective of the interest rebate. Meanwhile the banks Branch manager and Loan dept. staff was changed twice and the position remained empty for more than 6 months.

Anand says“I required a locker, hence requested my Banker (BOB) for the same which they ensured to allot as soon as they get any vacancy. Within a few days i got a call from them confirming the availability of the locker and asked me to come to Bank for fulfilling the formalities and accordingly allotted me the same forthwith.I was really happy with their promptness.”

Gopal says “Citibank gives you update almost immediately regarding the tranactions taking place in your bank account. Once my cheque was dishonored due to the year I placed on the cheque. The concerned branch immediately called me and I made the payment to the party by other channel.”

Ravindra says – “Several years ago, the then Manager of the IDBI Bank branch, where I have my account was habitually rude with his staff. He used to rebuke them within the hearing of customers. Naturally, this caused us considerable discomfort, as would have to deal with these staff within minutes after being forced to overhear the unpleasantness. I sent an email to the then MD, who sent a senior officer to enquire into the issue. The Manager was more discreet after that, and the staff worked better when the stress and tension was reduced.”

Ramprasad says “Karnataka Bank is a good bank, but their customer service at the branch level or over phone is among the worst. I had a problem with using the Internet Banking Service and had to reapply for the passwords but even after i was charged Rs50 for internet banking password re-issuance the passwords never reached me or the bank branch. They told me to reapply once again, and the branch was very non-cooperative in their service including the branch manager.”

Karthik says “Most of the times I didn’t have to approach their customer care. The times I had to, they were extremely courteous and quick in resolution. My first card was rejected because I didn’t have a CIBIL score then, having come fresh out of college. I was able to speak and reason with their Regional Manager, Credit and get my application application approved. Very progressive and sensible rules! at CitiBank”

Conclusion and Disclaimer

The above survey will help you take a better decision in choosing the best bank for your banking needs. Note that the above survey was taken by 2418 people who are the readers of this blog. This survey only represents the net savvy population of the country and it should not be taken as a representation of the whole country. The views of people outside this blog might clash with the findings of this survey. Also the above survey only focuses on the banking aspects and not things like home loan, personal loan etc.

Here’s a crucial aspect of the survey you need to understand. The above results are average of many views, hence its natural that there are many bad experiences with the banks which are considered best in the category and there can be many good experiences for those banks which are not part of these top banks in India.

We are soon going to add a full video course on banking in our jagoinvestor wealth club. Incase you feel you need to understand banking terms and terminologies, you should join the club.

What do you think about this survey? Do you agree with the results or not? Was it useful for you ? Do you feel that yours is the best bank in India ?

133 replies on this article “Best bank in India – With survey & Customer reviews”

  1. Hara says:

    My experience with State Bank of India – Ongole Main Branch,Andhra Pradesh.

    1) Whenever I go to withdraw money from ATM over the weekends, never ever find balance in those ATMs. Even if we complain about it no one gives attention to it.

    2) For each activity(mobile number , address update or any other transaction issues) need to visit home branch wherever we opened account,no other branches handles your requests even if your account belongs to SBI.

    3) Customer care is complete waste of time,nothing happens over customer care you must visit branch for any requests.

    4) In case if you visit the branch, you will end up spending half day minimum for completing small task.

    For example , mobile number update request goes through 2 persons for approvals & you need to wait for both of them.
    If you withdraw more than 1 lac, transaction needs to get sign from branch manager & teller.

    5) Tellers are very rude, not at all helpful to customers.

    6) if you can avoid, please do avoid this bank.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Hara

  2. ksr says:

    Recently (Oct 2016) I wanted to change my name in ICICI bank. Dy. Branch Manager, refused to accept the request, even after showing RBI circular. I have raised the issue with banking ombudsman, to resolve since ICICI bank is not looking into RBI circular. ICICI bank has lost me as a customer.

    1. Thanks for your comment ksr

  3. Vinod says:

    I am here to draw the attention of Nationalised Commercial Banks that if they dont wake up to the new trends in banking they will soon be obliterated from this sector.
    I recently wanted to deposit money in my Indian Overseas Bank account from another branch. When I was in queue the official asked is there anyone with that branch’s account and he allowed one who was standing at fourth position from the first one. When we asked he replied that they favor their own account holders first even if I said that all these money goes into the consolidated fund of IOB. Another this I witnessed recently is even if I am an account holder for more than 10 years I have to wait for at least one hour just to get 1000 Rs deposited in my account and another 15 mnts for entering it into pass books. These are shameful from the part of banks. They should have concern about every customers’ time. I would soon terminate my account in IOB and I am looking to open a new one with private or Schedule banks

    1. Hey Vinod

      Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. It was a great learning.


  4. Rohit says:

    Hello Manish

    It is great of you to start such a great discussion. Adios for your effort and precious time for the cause.

    Well I have a savings account in United Bank of India, which hasn’t been mentioned above. But I guess you would be knowing one thing. I wish to close my savings account with the bank due to their bad customer services and support.

    This is not my first time of closing an account but on calling the customer support I got to know that I couldn’t close my account without visiting the home branch. And other banks do allow closing of an account through other branches which seems much more practical.

    Isn’t there any kind of banking rule which allows one to close a savings account from any of the branches ?

    Regards and Thanks again.

    1. I guess there is no official rule like that. Its all about the bank networking and system. PSU banks are not upto the mark when it comes to inter branch communication , hence this issue!

  5. Pavan says:

    Hi Manish,
    can you please also write about the new Mudra Bank and also how difficult to take loan from it. They are advertising it as a collateral free loans but seems unpractical. Almost everybody wants it as they think since no security is required they can easily walk of with the money

    1. WIll do that sometime !

  6. bhanu says:

    never ever go for axis…………..

  7. NAGANAGOUDA says:

    I found SBI SPL PBB IN Saint Mark Road Bangalore as the worst bank compared to any bank in the world.
    The staff does not know nothing. I tried for Mortagage loan and nobody in the bank knew the rules they are not trained in any area but still hold NRE accounts shame.

    1. Thanks for sharing that NAGANAGOUDA

    2. KADHAR says:

      As per my experience AXIS is the number one worst customer service provider and useless customer service response while made complaints. If i say honestly,they are making customer as nonsense by behaving themselves as nonsense.Fuck-Off Axis Bank….

      1. Thanks for sharing that KADHAR

  8. Abhinav says:

    Pathetic services provided by Bank of India :

    1.There customer care number never work.
    2. There Internet banking is fake , It never accept any detail provided by the bank.
    3. There ATM Rupay card is useless and pathetic , no website accept there pathetic card.
    4. Overall one the top useless bank in the world

    1. Thanks for your comment Abhinav

  9. MANISH says:

    I had BAD SERVICE experience by ICICI bank. Below is copy of my e-mail to their MD:
    Dear Sir,

    Good morning. Hope you are doing well.

    I am having salary account with ICICI bank from last 3 years.
    I opened credit card account looking at good service of your organization but after that, I was frustrated to receive the response from your banking members.
    The first thing I didn’t understand was my billing cycle, statement date, mode of receiving statement for credit card.
    Today at 8 45 am when I called on below branch and contact number, the Male employee talked very rudely.
    I request you to take STRONG actions against him.
    Your one worst employee has ruined your last 3 years GOOD image in front of your one of the retail customer and I am sure I will spread my case with others too as I am fond of social media an investor forums.

    Kindly note his name: VICKY PARMAR

    Vadodara – Gotri Road Branch

    1. I think you should complain to banking ombudsman on this

      1. manish says:

        Thanks manish.

  10. Subahda says:

    Thanks for the information!

  11. Sanjay says:

    NRI customers are treated the same as local residents. The banks are clueless and the way they operate is like highway robbery. If one is not careful, you will be charged for sneezing. As an NRI it stands to reason that accounts are likely to have minimal usage nevertheless they have no hesitation in blocking your accounts. They need to have an ombudsman and hire an army of people to investigate misselling.
    They make it easy to apply for loans but customer service is appalling.

    1. Thanks for your comment Sanjay

    2. Thanks for your comment SanjayThanks for your comment Sanjay

  12. Sunil says:

    Dear Manish,

    May I know the period of survey during which it was done ?

    1. It was for 15 days in 2012

  13. Tejas Vasagadekar says:

    Very Bad Banking Experience with STATE BANK OF HYDERABAD….

    Poor n Slow Banking….
    Unsatisfied service

    1. Hey Tejas Vasagadekar

      Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. It was a great learning.


  14. joydeep says:


    Which bank accounts you use(I strongly believe your views)? I have a SBI savings account and citi bank salary account but I am planning to open a bank account in private sector. Now my question is which bank would be good for savings? Should I save more in public sector or private sector banks?

    1. I personally think any bank is good enough. I use ICICI

  15. Atul Narang says:

    I will be completely honest here. I opened a bank Account with IDBI, a preferred bank account after reading the data in the above post. Looking at the customer care rating of 4.3, I thought, they must have good services, but I must tell everybody, DO NOT OPEN an account with IDBI at any cost. They will only harass you over and over and over again over petty issues..

    I did a mistake and closing account and opening another in another bank is going to consume time unnecessarily, but I will do it soon anyway.

    It is upto the site owner whether to publish my comment or not, but this site only misinformed me. I should not have relied on it and should have remembered that it is a government bank after all.

    1. Hi Atul

      The comments and ratings were based on other 1000+ people. Bad to hear that you had not so good experience, but then each bank has clients who had bad experience. I hope you would agree here ?


  16. Sandip C says:

    AXIS is worst bank. I am banking with Axis since last 8 years with lot of balance. But they take you for granted. I have accounts in Standard Charted, Kotak, IDBI, Bank Of Baroda. I am not sure which is good, Online facility of Kotak is good. Standard Charted has decent service.

    1. ICICI bank has been the best one for me !

  17. Jay Patel says:

    Hey I want to open new account.Which is the best bank in HDFC and ICICI in customer care and financial aspects??

      1. Jay Patel says:

        How ICICI is better than HDFC??

        1. Sankalp says:

          The same question here Mr. Manish, as per the bank & credit card policy which is the best ICICI or HDFC and why ?
          Please reply.
          Thanks in advance.

          1. There is no ranking like htat .

    1. sajan says:

      Never take a loan from HDFC, many hidden charges.Worst of all bannks

      1. Thanks for your comment sajan

  18. Rishi says:

    while going through all the pros and cons of banks. here is mine, when i mention it to my friends, they laugh heartily. i stay in delhi and my saving account is in guwahati. a year back when i visited my branch to re-issue internet username and password. a lady who was helping me to get the details, actually allowed me to take her seat and she was asking me ‘what to do now’ after several clicks. Had it been GMAIL interface, i would have done it! However, the lady gave me the username and password, AND it didt work in my stay in guwahati.

    1. Haha .. thanks for sharing that with all of us !

  19. Kumar Mayank says:

    This is a fake survey… no mention of ING Vysya bank. I believe, most of the people here would agree that it offer better services than most of the nationalized banks.

    1. Afzal says:

      Yes u are right Kumar. I have read all the comments and seems like the writer is selling ICICI big time..

  20. Sim says:

    Is this a PAID TO POST?

    Looks like ICICI has paid u big money to stand number one

    1. And I used that Money to buy a property just last month you know ! 🙂

    2. Syed says:

      i totally agree with you.. He’s a paid scammer

  21. avomine25 says:

    hi manish.. i’m a doctor by profession.. n too slow to catch up with these bank issues..but after having read ur survey and the ppls opinion..really it helped me a lot .. really thank u from d bottom of my heart.. thank u..keep it up

  22. Souraf Mulla says:

    Axis Bank is the worst bank in India. Debited my account without any permission. I was calling customer care for 4 days. Within 4 days I got 4 request IDs from customer care. But no output. Still now they haven’t refunded my money. How careless axis bank people are!!!
    Still they are investigating the matter. AXIS BANK IS THE WORST AND CARELESS BANK OF INDIA

    1. Better complain about it to banking ombudsman if you feel that you need to complain for it !

  23. supratim says:

    i want to open a new bank account…which bank is best….as this will be my first bank account!!!

    1. I would say, ICICI is a good option overall

  24. SANDIP says:

    Hi,Manish sir,
    I have opened a saving in my father’s name.I want to invest some money in FD through account as it will have benefit of senior citizen.Pl advice if it’s legal and if yes how is it possible?is there any special scheme for senior citizen?
    pl help

    1. Yes its legal , why dont you gift the money to him ?

  25. Aseem Krishna Das says:

    Have had my HDFC savings bank a/c since 2004, earlier had Citibank a/c, both are good at customer service. HDFC sent me “free” credit card after I got my debit card and after 3 months, started charging me for it, although I never used it. I called once, nothing happened. The second time, I was harsh and used 4 letter words, that did the trick. I tore my HDFC credit card and since then have never agreed to get a HDFC credit card. I recently have a Kotak credit card and their service and customer care is really good. I have noticed that as a customer, if you read the fine print before you make any enquiry, the staff is polite. But if you come across as an ignorant person, chances are they might try to sell you insurance or loan, thinking you are gullible. In terms of professionals and well-polished, both HDFC and ICICI banks are good. SBM, SBI, Syndicate banks are okay in this aspect. The Syndicate bank near my house is the worst. At any given time, there is a shortage of staff and I’m told to come next week and so on. 75% of the staff there is over 50 years, and looking to retire. The only reason my wife has her a/c is due to proximity. HSBC bank is another pain, they have just 2 branches in Bangalore and charges are very high, ex: cheque bounce is Rs 300. This is a good survey and I’m glad that my savings bank a/c is with HDFC Bank.

    1. Thanks for sharing that experience Aseem !

  26. pkumar says:

    I had been with citibank for the past 10+ years. Their overall service is very good, except for the relationship manager, whose role I think is only to ensure every citibank customer has a ULIP with Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI). And if by any chance the citibank customer already has a ULIP with BSLI, they would like to challenge why the customer cannot have more such ULIPS from BSLI.


    1. Can you explain more on that ..

  27. Amit says:

    hi, i was having very good experiance with icici bank last 6 years.

    My problem started recently. Because of official work i am planning to travel 3-4 contries over a period of 2-3 month. I have reqested for OTP on my mail instead of my mobile as i am not sure wether i will cary my same number.

    Three was very poor response from icicibank, as per them
    1. i have to update my number evrytime. ( I will be having different numbers for different contries) .
    2. Convert account to NRI then it will be sent on mail.

    In both the options i am very uncomfortable.
    It wil be very difficult to mange my acount from abroad.

    As against this other (HDFC) bank doent require OTP. Anyway thats additional security protection but whts the use of protection if i am not able to access my acont.

    Pls suggest if anything .
    Thanks in advanse

    1. Not aware about this, please ask on our forum

    2. Ajay Yadav says:

      You can opt for i-safe application in your mobile which is applicable for almost all mobile except Window phone platform. i-safe is also available on java enable phones.
      with help of i-safe there is no requirement of otp to handle the account.

  28. Tejaswi says:

    I have a Salary account with IDBI from past 5 years. Till last week, I was thinking it was a private bank only to realise it is a nationalised bank! The service has been at par with ICICI bank. Somehow I feel it is not a popular bank when compared to the bigwigs.

    ICICI Bank by all means is a hole in the pocket. For every small request, they charge exorbitantly.

    Once I had rude IDBI customer care executive speaking to me…, I complained this to the branch manager in an email. Within a day’s time, I got response. Also, I got a call from the customer care managers twice seeking information and apologizing for the behaviour and mentioning that action has been taken against the rude employee. They also told, if you have concerns talk to us directly rather than going to the branch manager.

    1. Tejaswi

      Good to hear that .. yea from last some years IDBI bank has really taken up this task of being good bank. I can see that .

  29. Suhas Patil says:

    Hi Manish,

    Nice survey..I gave input to the survey for HDFC bank though I have all the 3 top listed here SBI,ICICI and HDFC.All three have there Pros and Cons.
    ICICI have more user friendly features and there netbanking is gr8.
    HDFC is bit strict on cash transactions and not much customer friendly if you go to there branch.I had taken HDFC kids account and they donot issue a
    And I can surely say never go to SBI branch.They have become competent online though that is good but still the “sarkari babu” attitude is not washed out.
    Most of there employees are not aware about the online features.But they have some cool offers and features (like home loan and online FD for 7 days etc)

    1. Ok , thanks for sharing your views on these banks !

  30. Abhinav Sonkar says:

    Hi Manish,

    Kudos for undertaking such a detailed survey and sharing the results with everyone. This should be useful to lot of people.

    I will add my few cents here regarding online facilities. I have been a salaried account holder of KOTAK Bank since the day I entered the corporate world (over 4 years). I would rate the overall experience as VERY GOOD. For me, the topmost priority is NET Banking / Online facilities and Kotak is very good in this. I am a lazy guy and hate going to bank for silly stuff. Fortunately, even things like account password reset happens online in Kotak. The interface UI is also very clean and simple. A layman would get a hang of it in no time. I also hold a Kotak Securities Trading account which is also very good.

    I once held a Citibank credit card so have some experience of their online facilities as well. This is also very good with lots of facilities although the user interface is pretty lame and can be revamped.

    I also hold a joint SBI savings account with my dad. Pretty decent online facilities. If you forget the account password, they require you to visit the HOME branch to reset it. My home branch is in Nagpur and I live in Pune. Nightmare!

    Recently I opened an account in HDFC bank for personal loan. Pathetic net banking facilities. To cite an example, it requires 12 hours for a new beneficiary to be approved (Instant in Kotak). A limit of 50,000/- is applied on a new beneficiary for the first two days. Not sure why.

    For now, I am a happy Kotak customer.

    1. Thanks for sharing that experience, I myself have Kotak Bank account and I agree with you that they have awesome netbanking interface 🙂 . It looks so fresh and easy ! .. And they also have strong checks in place ! .


  31. ashok says:

    I am having ICICI and HDFC bank. I feel ICICI is Very Best to deal in every aspect..except taking loan.

    1. Thanks for sharing that with us 🙂

  32. naveen kumar m says:

    Let me share my exp with icici bank, I from bangalore , worked in hyderabad for 6 yrs and had opened icicibank salary account in hyd . Being an privileged customer and have been an active customer for more than 8 yrs never expected such a response from them….. I had applied for credit card against fixed deposit online for 20k and immediately FD account is created. Things started bitter when I started digging for the credit card allotment, have been In touch with their Customer care for the same and started receiving different sets of answers from executives and finally after repeated request call got transferred to Mumbai and quite surprisingly could listen to surprising answers again… ……As My present communication address is Bangalore one and home servicing branch is in Hyderabad they coulnt process my request for CC as present location doesn’t come under their area .Then I asked if present location doesn’t come under ur servicing area why u had processed my FD and the same should have been cancelled … answer is they have their policy stuff..

    And quite politely they had asked me I need to visit home branch in hyderabd for further communication….. I am surprised as CC is given against my FD security amount I don’t find any reason for not allotting CC ….
    I have Hdfc bank CC with good limit and my credit score is 816 and doesnt have any other loans or cc or any stuff…Never know when ur most trusted bank will behave differently….2 days back I received a call from ICICIBANK for rubyx card with 70k limit I said I am not interested …..

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Naveen

      I think you should complain to Banking ombudsman in that case, but I am sure there might be some or the other rule as per regulation , Just a thought .

  33. khalid says:

    I have account in both ICICI and SBI. I must say that SBI is catching up all the technology which ICICI had. As SBI has broad reach to the people so the benefits will reach to all.

    1. Thanks for your sharing Khalid !

  34. Praveen says:

    I have horrible experience with most of the nationalized banks. But one thing which comes to mind without fail is Corporation Bank. I think this is one of the pathetic bank. Their staff (for that matter staff of any nationalized banks) treat their customers like dirt. They treat you as if they are doing some favour on you. I have got account in both ICICI and corporation bank. The difference is as clear as chalk and cheese. ICICI make me feel like king. I guess this might be true for any private banks. In most of the nationalised banks there is no such thing as phone banking and you have to visit the branch for most of things. The treatment you get whether over the phone or in person in branches makes you feel sick. The politeness is the last thing you can expect in these nationalized banks. Their online banking site looks like a college graduate has completed it as a part of his project.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, I had heard that Corporation bank is one of the best bank, may be your particular branch does not have good people 🙂

      1. Gopi Krishna Settur says:

        Hi Manish,

        I already shared my horrible experience in tranfering 5000 USD via corporation bank.
        It has no value for customers and very irresponsbible and lame answers for cutomer concern.


        1. Thanks for sharing that once again !

  35. naxpark says:

    hi friends

    After reading your article on PPF, i went to my Bank -State bank Of Hydrabad to trand. my PPF a/c from nariman point branch to vile parle west state bank branch. State Bank of Hyd staff was very co operative and they trfd the same as in one weeks time including holidays but, SBI vile parle branch ………….

    We do not have any regular a/c with this branch, I visit 2/3 times only for my ppf a/c transection.

    I have found very pecular problem with them, they go for lunch one after the other, and custmer has to wail for the person incharge if they happen to go during this time of their lunch marathon, and i find myself waiting for every counter for more than half hour and no one is bother about the time waste.

    This was so irritating. I hope they will change. or will change office time.

    1. Thanks for sharing that . You can complain to banking ombudsman on this

  36. Krish says:

    Great survey and wonderful interpretation of results. I am top end NRI customer with 3 Banks SBI, HDFC Bank and Citi. Let me share my experience of last 5-6 years of dealing with these banks.

    SBI: It is been 5 years and the communication is always from my side. Although simple service requests are executed with e-mail instruction to branch Manager, but some complicated issues like NRO to NRE repatriation, assistance is difficult to get by. The branch is in the Urban center of B’lore and sheer volume of customers that it handles both domestic and expats just scares me. The massive crowds and long ques inside the branch gives you jitters if ever visit. I am not sure about the service levels in NRI special branches . Nevertheless, I have a soft corner for this branch because it opened my zero balance NRE account with just overseas offer in my hand. No private bank be it ICICI or HDFC was ready to open the NRE account back then.

    HDFC Bank: The services of RM and Net banking are average to good but nothing exceptional. Even here, I have to chase my RM. Luckily they know my background and did not bother to sell any right/wrong product in last 5 years. Nevertheless, they are not proactive even to the levels of some customers. It could be that each RM is assigned with several customers. Prompt and worthwhile alternatives to customers are hard to comeby. The FD nomination in HDFC bank is really concern having to send manually signed form for each FD from abroad.

    Citi Bank: I have opened beacuse this bank has service center where I work abroad. These people wants only ‘traders ‘ of Forex/Derivatives/Equity/Insurance/Bonds as customers. They love leveraged customers and disappointed largely with Fixed Deposit customers. The FD INR rates are lowest compared to any Indian bank for any tenures. They had rigid rules like ‘customer profiling’ to send/sell any product information and would not budge a bit. From the day one, I had to face issues like opening an Indian account with Singapore branch which I never wanted, dormant account, double taxation, fixed deposits and so on. The shocking part is, this bank do not allow maturity proceeds of FD to be credited to your own savings account. The only options for the customer are : either take Draft or auto renew would kick-in.

    I am not venting my frustration here alone. I have personally taken up these issues with highest levels in the above banks and they appreciate the concerns raised but nothing happens except forwarding to their service/product teams. The Indian banks need to do much more to cater to NRI customers & I would see it as major gap in the current scenario.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience in such a detailed manner !


  37. Rakesh says:

    I am an HDFC Bank Customer since day one, Very satisfied with their service.

    1. Thanks for sharing that 🙂

  38. SBI performed well i thought it may score least.

    Manish can you help me in getting TDS refund.
    It is deducted from FD. which is on my mother’s name her income is not under income tax slab.


    1. Swetank Saroj says:

      Hi Santosh,

      As per rule banks will deduct TDS if interest on an account is more than 10K within a financial year.

      The same has happened with your mother’s account.

      If I am not wrong you have to file the IT return for the same, showing the total income of your mother and claiming that her income doesnt fall under IT payment category.


      1. Thanks Swetank
        Can you guide me. I want to file it online please help me

        1. Swetank Saroj says:


          The procedure will be similar to any other working individual IncomeTax return filling.

          Use the same form you use for yourself and just show the Interest income as the total annual income and claim for a refund.

          Please take a guidance from some better knowledgeable person, coz I my self is very bad in it. I have been served a notice by our IT dept for a wrong online filling.:P


        2. Santosh

          Please start a thread on our forum –

    2. The only thing you can do now is , file a tax return on her name and apply for the tax refund . and from next time file a Form 15G for her , read this –

  39. Sirish Pujari says:

    Hello Manish,

    Nice to read your articles. Very informative and keep up the good work. God bless you.

    I feel that it should depend upon the minimum balance criteria. For instance, SBI has waived the minimum balance criteria in savings account, which is one of the person why I prefer over other private banks.

    1. Is it waived off for all type of accounts ? I dont think so , its only for basic accounts !

  40. Abhishek says:

    well, it’s a personal opinion but I would rate netbanking of SBI far ahead than HDFC. The best netbanking experience is ICICI and SBI. HDFC netbanking is so 20th century

    1. May be .. I also value ICICI netbanking , have no idea of SBI and HDFC !

    2. Anjan says:

      I agree. The net banking facility alone makes SBI one of the best banks to have an account at even though sometimes some of their staff can be rude, slow or erratic which can frustrate the hell out of us. But the good thing is I rarely have to visit the branch because so much can be accomplished through net banking.

      HDFC net banking is also good but certainly not as secure or feature rich as SBI but it has most of the facilities that a common man might need, so hard to complain there. I am sure HDFC will only get better with time. My only gripe with them is that they pester customers too much when you visit a branch. Its one thing to treat someone like a king, quite another thing to bombard them with credit card offers, loan offers and what not repeatedly and in your face like a salesman.

  41. Sushil says:

    Just Today…i got an issue with the PNB bank….i was having my PPF a/c with PNB at a city X which was transferred to city Y in Oct 2012. It was working fine till today but today when i went to deposit my contribution, the clerk told me that i have not given any contribution to PPF in 2010-11 and so his computer is giving an alert and thats why i can be charged a penalty. I told him that i had deposited the amount in Sept-2010 for which the entry is available in my passbook and statement is also available with me…When everything was OK till now, how you have found this mistake now after 2 years? He was having no reply. He told me that account is opened in Oct 2010 and no deposit has been made in 2010-11 . Then i informed him that this ac was transferred to this branch from another city and i have deposited in Sept and account was transferred in Oct…. But he said he can not do any help to me in this regard….Now i planning to loadge a written complaint

    1. If you have the entry in the passbook , then it should be final , check it would with them why the descrepency is there, I also suggest raising a RTI query on this to get a right answer from the PPF office itself !

      1. Sushil says:

        Yes..I have an entry in the passbook as well as i have a copy of bank statement. I have written a complaint to Bank Manager……
        By the way to whom should i submit RTI?

        1. To PNB bank . Its a public sector Bank and comes under RTI , refer to this article for format, everything will be same except that its for PPF related query –

  42. Ahmad Zaib says:

    I’m a long time Citibank customer and it’s good to see that they have come out with good ratings. 🙂 They have an excellent customer care and reasonable service charges which I’m okay with.
    IMHO the net-banking interface of HDFC is pathetic and is from the internet’s days of yore. It’s also the most complicated to deal with. Even SBI is much better.
    What HDFC scores better in is their number of branches and face-to-face branch banking services.

    1. Vijay Athreyan says:

      Yeah.. When you set up a Standing Instruction in HDFC, thru online banking.. you cannot CANCEL IT, MODIFY IT, ….even you cannot SEE IT online… you have to go to branch for all the mentioned three… they are calling it as a facility in their online banking.. So Sad…

      Citi and SBI scores well in Internet banking.. HDFC, they try to get all the facilities.. but some bad design decisions making them ranks lower.. ( Separate link for opening FD for > 1 crore and < 1 crore, which a web developer can internally manage.. this is of utter waste )

      Yes bank is trying to compete… to match.. Their unique Net banking facilities like Money Monitor, Goal based Savings.. ( Even Standard Chartered had this ) summary of activities after the log off.. stands yes bank apart from the crowd.. Their Implemention speed of new technology is very slow.. They just announced the mobile banking and IMPS.. in 2012… ( But it was one of the bank which NCPI made a pilot run of IMPS ).

      Kotak also scores well in User Interface and other facilities…

      Overall.. Citi Scores well in All Aspects.. Core Banking, Net banking, Phone banking, Credit Cards, mobile banking…

      Others in my list have some laggards, But.. not Worst…

      1. Yes I also have KOtak and I really love them for the online facilities , even their authentication procedure is quite strong .

    2. I personally have ICICI and Kotak bank account. Not aware of HDFC bank personally . But thanks for your personal review !

  43. Srinivas says:

    Good and thought provoking post.

    Few observations of mine.

    I am a preferred customer of ICICI. The only thing i did to deserve the status is to keep a big chunk of money(foolishly) idling in my account for a few years, a few years ago. Preferred customer status is bestowed on individuals who donot know how to manage their money. They will have lot of advisors calling them for products etc.

    That apart, (as many rightly observed) there is a big difference between telebanking and branch banking. In a tele banking the person will have full access to ones info and can connect in a better way. Also, mostly tele customer care is outsourced and sometimes have quality check threat. Hence they tend to act courteously.

    As regards policies and practices, this is a collective ignorance of the bank or bank staff of a branch. Unevenness of information is a problem in all huge or geographically diversified organisations. Have to live with it. Though technology can be leveraged to overcome it, few banks try.

    Technology is evolving and takes time in a system to get digested. Culture also adds to it. I fully agree that ICICI and HDFC internet banking service is good. Main reasons for this is years for which net banking is on in a system and culture. Private banks are ready to serve you, provided they get some money out of it. Government banks particularly the ones started on core banking recently, have psychology issue. They donot see it as an enabler and treat it as one to live with.

    Now how to manage.

    Be knowledgeable. When Ing Vysya acted smart with my home loan repayments, i went to ombudsman and the branch manager called up and settled the issue. Similarly one should be ready to fight for one’s cause after knowing the rules. This needs one to take a little effort to know things. Be knowledgeable also encompasses knowing exactly what one wants and how to get it. Also be knowledgeable on your rights as a customer.

    Internet baking only helps if the system is evolved and culture adds to it. This can be seen in the stark differences between ICICI and SBI.

    As can be seen, all the experiences mentined in the post, were based on an instance rather than series of events in a relationship. Thus, as was indicated in the conclusion, the observations are highly subjective. One has to check for oneself. One doesnot know marriage is good or bad unless one marries.

    Happy banking.

    1. Thanks for the detailed experience sharing Srinivas .

      I agree with you that private banks have gone ahead in terms of providing services, but at the cost, which I feel is ok . Public banks have to catch up a lot in terms of “soft” services , thats customer care and the “treatment” part .

      1. Saravanan says:

        I feel now the Internet Banking Services offered by SBI are on-par with private banking. It allows to create FD/RD’s online. NEFT/RGTS and other services also available. To the contrast SBI’s mobile App is very fast and offer service like mobile recharge, which works fine and IMPS as well. Only issue is getting the services enabled is an issue here. We need to visit the branch more than once and it will be full crown on Saturday. Otherwise online services are fine. I agree ICICI provides lot more, many of which people might not need often.

        1. Thanks for sharing your Experience with SBI !

  44. Jason Braganza says:

    Surprising to see my crappy Citi gain a 4.4!

    1. Your case is very rare in that case , I have seen most of the Citibank customers very very satisfied !

      1. Jason Braganza says:

        I’m a demanding customer 🙂

        For the most part, they are darned cool. Every new tech advantage has first been implemented by Citi 🙂

        It’s just that, you have to read the fine print carefully when you deal with them.

        I have been with them my whole life and I’m really comfortable with them. I first realised the importance of a good credit history when they gave me a no questions asked, marriage loan last year at a rate that was 40% lower than existing loan rates at the time within 2 days!

        I only realise how good they are, when I step out to deal with other banking/financial institutions.

        For e.g., I applied for an HDFC Click2Protect on the 30th of last month. I’m still doing paperwork with them. They are still ‘processing’ it. And they have absolutely NO CLUE as to when they will give me my policy!

        1. Hmm .. ok . Yea CITIBANK being an international bank and a quite good one knows the importance of customer satisfaction more than any other bank and it might be the case that its their strategy too with a foreign nation like INDIA 🙂

          Regarding HDFC thing , again there are good and bad cases, i had heard tons of satisfactory reviews . You are just on the other side of the fence 🙂 . Its ok as one thing thing .


      2. Vijay Athreyan says:

        Yes Of Course.. I am completely satisfied with the Citi..

        Other than Citi, I having accounts in HDFC, SBI, Yes, Kotak and SBI.. in this list i give Top rate to Citi for their facilities in Online and Mobile Banking.. also their Cust Care…

        1. Thanks for the review !

      3. Biswa says:

        Citibank was one of the worst bank 6 to 7 years back. The whole wipro emplyoees open their account in Citibank and they were always moaning. But it seems they have improved a lot. But still they only allow 5 transactions in ATMs other than citibank which is bit odd.

        1. I think most of the banks allow maximum 5 ATM transactions for other banks , like HDFC bank too !

          1. Biswa says:

            I am talking about salaried account too. I dont think indian banks charge any money these days for ATM usages of other banks. Just checked with my colleague who sits next to me about HDFC and he says there is no such limitation.

            1. I have an ICICI Account and when I withdraw from HDFC , there is a mention like maximum 5 transactions allowed, ok I got confused, seems like its the FREE limit for other bank Atm ,after which they will charge ,not sure on this

            2. Sushil says:

              Yes it is sure! You can withdraw cash or do balance inquiry on other Bank ATM only 5 times in a calender Month. After that you will be charged Rs 20 for withdrawal and Rs 7 for Balance Inquiry. This is as per Order of RBI

            3. Yea .. thats what I was saying !

            4. Saravanan says:

              For CitiBank Suvidha Salary account, the number of Transactions are not limited. I have been using for so many years. Only if it gets converted to normal account due non-credit of salary then normal rules applies.

            5. Thanks for that info !

            6. sivakrishna says:

              BOI-bank of India will replace all. go through its products. internet banking and of c0urse all facilities good and well. it is a govt. bank also.

            7. Thanks for your vies on that bank

            8. Ritz says:

              BOI saving account has one more advantage

              It gives you a mediclaim policy with very low premium, when you open a saving account in BOI

      4. Rajesh says:

        I’m a Citi customer too. I have an account in HSBC and HDFC too.

        In comparison to these 2 banks, Citi scores well in net banking. Ease of access is very good. In HDFC, I have to run to branch for every little thing but FD and loan rates are marginally better than other two. One thing I don’t like about HDFC is some of the employees try to sell some insurance/MF products when I’m going to bank for some other reason.

        HSBC is for high net worth people who want royal treatment but they steal you blind if you are not paying attention. My salary account is with the bank. I would close the account the minute I change jobs.

        With all 3 banks, you have to be wary when they are suggesting you investment options.

        1. Thanks for sharing your experience on these banks !

      5. Amol says:

        I have my dell friend who has CITI salary account. very good service. also credit card from them has lot of offers for online shopping

        1. Thanks for sharing that !

  45. suman says:

    we can see in table citi and idbi bank score more than icici..then why icici is no 1?

    1. Suman

      Where is it mentioned that ICICI Bank is number 1 ?

      1. suman says:

        In the list u made icici is in first..”TOP INDIAN BANK AS PER SURVeY”

        1. suman says:

          thanks manish for replying…
          keep going..

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