Founded in 1894, Punjab National Bank is one of the oldest active public sector banks in India. The bank takes pride in being the first “Swadeshi” bank in the country. Initially founded in Lahore, the bank is now headquartered in New Delhi. This multinational bank has a presence in countries like UK, China, Bhutan, Europe and Australia, making it one of the few state-owned banks with multiple branches overseas. It is a trusted name amongst the NRI community, particularly due to its extensive forex services and working capital loans. But, compared to some modern brands, it lags behind in technology. Also, it doesn’t have branches in the United States, which is a significant drawback.
PNB NRE Account Features
- Interest rate of 3.5% p.a. for balance up to ₹50 lakhs and of 4% p.a. for balance above ₹50 lakhs.
- Term deposit interest rates range from 6.25% to 6.75%. PNB offers higher interest rates for senior account holders, at 7% and above for long-term deposits.
- Internet, phone and mobile banking facilities are offered.
- Joint accounts can be opened with a relative residing in India.
- Account deposits made from abroad can be in any foreign convertible currency. NRIs can also open accounts during temporary visits to India against the tender of foreign currency traveller’s cheques and currency notes.
- E-statement and SMS banking facilities are available.
- Dedicated 24/7 NRI help desk
- International debit card is available on request
- Facility to apply for loan against NRE deposits, based on the RBI guidelines
- Fund transfers from other NRE/FCNR accounts are allowed, including sale proceeds of FDI investments and interests accruing on funds in these accounts.
- Customers can appoint a mandate to operate the account on their behalf.
- PNB has a network of partnerships with foreign banks for inward remittances, through SWIFT channels.
- The bank doesn’t accept cash transfers via Western Union or other similar services
- Low interest rates on savings accounts and fixed deposits, in comparison to most private sector banks.
- Limited remittance facilities and lengthy process.
- Account opening is complicated and involves a lot of paperwork. Customers have complained that opening an online is a difficult process.
- NRI customers visiting Indian branches have to deal with incompetent staff, who are often unable to answer simple queries.
- Mobile app is inefficient
- No presence in the United States
- Modern banking facilities
- Has a global presence
- Has an extensive network of branches and ATMs, even in small towns in India
- Poor customer services
- Difficult account opening process
- Low interest rates
- Limited remittance options
- Poor website and mobile app functionality
- Poor attitude of staff at physical branches.
Do you have any experience doing banking with PNB? Please let us know in comments.