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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: The Incredible Banker by Ravi Subramanian

I had my eye on the Incredible Banker since sometime. Since the discounted price in flipkart was about 137 and it didn’t qualify for free delivery, I’d added it to wishlist and recently bought it with another book. 


The incredible Banker is an excellent thriller. It doesn't have extreme actions and chase sequences of an action movie, but has all ingredients to excite readers. Gives inside details of how banks function-particularly the loans and credit card divisions and office politics that goes on. In parallel, another track details developments related to naxal movements in Orissa and WB and in the end both tracks merge, with the bank being accused of waging a war against the nation, by facilitating money laundering for naxal movements. Story begins with a Maoist suicide bomber blowing off a late night bus in Odissa and one would wonder what it has to do with a novel which is supposed to be on Banks. Then the CEO of a foreign bank is summoned by the Governor of RBI. From then chapters of the book navigate smoothly between the past events and current events. Slowly the story falls into place.

Unlike many other books in which lead character's spouse would discover his/her partner's affairs in second half of the book to create some scene, divorce etc, in Incredible Banker Deepak's wife remains unaware of his husband's affairs forever. Not much mention of them post climax.

I also learnt the amount of incentives sales folks get- Rs 3 lakhs for selling a loan amount of 5 crores. Recovering that loan is another department's headache. Should the incentive be linked such that a part of it depends on customer successfully repaying the loan?

Another key useful thing- if you're applying for a loan or credit card etc, do it towards the end of the month. You'll have better chances of approvals and getting additional benefits (discounted interest rates, freebies etc). This is because sales team will have a monthly target to achieve.

Book also gives hint on fabricated press meetings, wherein those who have a probability of asking unfavorable questions are smartly avoided. While the book is supposed to a fiction, fraudulent practices listed in the book are very likely to be in use in banks around us. Do grab a copy and read "The Incredible Banker" if banking world fascinates you.

Just like how Chetan Bagat used citibank's name in 2 states, here also author uses names of all real entities- Times of India, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank etc. Author Ravi Subramanian has written 3 other books and is reportedly working on the next. I might order few other books soon




July 2012 Update: HSBC is facing similar charges of money laundering as explained in the novel, of failing to monitor/control funds transferred for or between terrorist groups (link)

Other Reviews: I am Number 4 *

Images from Author's website

4 comments :

Arun said...

Thanks for your review. I thought of buying this book, now i will definitely buy it from Flipkart.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Arun

Hope you're read the book by now

Rahul Shayar said...



Flipping through 301 pages, reality and imagination catch your attention but intermittently. Whether its about work pressure faced by bankers or corporate jugglery of bringing expat CEOs or the unsuspecting ways of naxal sympathisers, the author has some aces up his sleeves.

With ample servings of imagined happenings juxtaposed against banking regulations and laxity in compliance, the work at times compels the reader to connect the dots with some real life incidents.

Touching upon modern day happenings, dollops of extramarital moments and online flirting adds colour to the content but does not gel with the overall theme.

The writing is racy at places but fails to sustain the momentum in all the chapters, especially with an overdose of corporate politics and back-stabbing.

Expectations of readers are ignited in the first three pages itself. As you complete the last page, you might feel things ended rather too abruptly but nevertheless, the narration helps you to complete the read without frowning brows.

Not too great a work to be remembered. But surely a good work to be enjoyed as long as you read. S

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for detailed Comment Rahul. Appreciate your views.