While security at the bank is usually a reassuring sight, the fashion police may be one of the last forms of enforcement one expects to encounter on a trip to their nearest branch.
Earlier this week, a man from Kolkata complained on Twitter that a State Bank of India (SBI) branch denied him entry for wearing shorts – their reason being that they expected their customers to “maintain decency” at the branch.
In a tweet directed at the official SBI Twitter handle that has since gone viral, the man, identified as Ashish, said, “Hey @TheOfficialSBI went to one of your branch today wearing shorts, was told that I need to come back wearing full pants as the branch expects customers to ‘maintain decency’.”
“Is there some sort of an official policy on what a customer can wear and cannot wear?” the tweet added.
Hey @TheOfficialSBI went to one of your branch today wearing shorts, was told that I need to come back wearing full pants as the branch expects customers to “maintain decency”
Is there some sort of an official policy on what a customer can wear and cannot wear?
— Ashish (@ajzone008) November 16, 2021
In the comments, Ashish also noted that this is apparently not the first time such an incident has occurred, and cited a similar case taking place with a man from Pune in July 2017. He once again implored the State Bank of India to direct him to their dress code policy.
“Apparently, I am not the only one who has faced this. @TheOfficialSBI Can you please point me to a dress code for customers?” said Ashish’s comment.
Since Ashish’s tweet was posted, it has collected over 2,600 likes and led to a barrage of indignant comments, with some commenters encouraging Ashish to sue the SBI. Others suggested the Kolkata man file a complaint with an “ombudsman” – a state-appointed official who can check on government activity in the interests of citizens.
On the other end of the spectrum, some Twitter users seemed to think Ashish’s complaint was unfounded — one user pointedly told the Kolkata man to close his account and find a different bank, while another simply said, “All you have to do is dress properly.”
The State Bank of India also responded to the tweet, informing him that there was no dress code for bank customers and promising to look into the complaint.
“We understand and respect your concern. Let us take an opportunity to clarify that there is no policy or prescribed dress code for our customers. They can dress up as per their choice and may consider the locally acceptable norms/tradition/culture for a public place like bank branch. We request you to share the branch code/ name where you faced this issue. We will look into this,” said the SBI’s two-part response.
bank branch. We request you to share the branch code/ name where you faced this issue. We will look into this. (2/2)
— State Bank of India (@TheOfficialSBI) November 18, 2021
In relation to the November 16 post, Ashish followed up on Saturday with a tweet noting that a representative from the SBI had visited him at his home to resolve the issue, and that he would like to close his complaint.
“I have with me Mr Joy Chakraborty (CM Admin of the region) with me, they came to my home and have taken care of the Issue. I would like to close this complaint and do not want any action against the staff,” said the Kolkata man’s subsequent tweet.
I have with me Mr Joy Chakraborty ( CM Admin of the region ) with me, they came to my home and have taken care of the Issue.
I would like to close this complaint and do not want any action against the staff. https://t.co/Dtw7gH9VwB
— Ashish (@ajzone008) November 20, 2021
Some Twitter users seemed to find this post odd — one tongue-in-cheek comment asked, “wat do u mean by ‘they came to my home and taken care of the issue’? They gave you pant or what???” to which Ashish responded, “Yes, A pair of nice full pants from Peter England /s”.
However, on a more serious note, Ashish replied to his most recent post on the issue, stating, “Just sensitization against customer behaviour would be good enough. Thanks a lot for your help.”