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  • RBI Says Banking Ombudsman Receives 163590 Complaints In FY18, Up 25%
  • April 25,2019  11:49
  • The Reserve Bank of India has released the Annual Report of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme for the year 2017-18. The central bank noted in the report that 21 Offices of the Banking Ombudsman received 1,63,590 complaints in the year 2017-18 marking an increase of 24.9% over previous year. Offices of Banking Ombudsman maintained a disposal rate of 96.5% as compared to 92.0% in the previous year.

    The major grounds of complaints received during the year were non-observance of fair practices code (22.1%), ATM and debit card issues (15.1%), credit card issues (7.7%), failure to meet commitments (6.8%), mobile and electronic banking (5.2%). Complaints received on grounds such as problems relating to ‘Pension’, ‘Levy of Charges without Notice’, ‘Loans and Advances’, ‘Remittance’, ‘DSA and Recovery Agents’ and ‘Mis-selling’ each accounted for 5% or less of the total complaints received.

    About 66% of maintainable complaints were resolved by agreement i.e., through mediation. During the previous year, the figure stood at 42.4%. The RBI noted that 148 Awards were issued by 12 out of the 21 Banking Ombudsman in 2017-18 as compared to 31 Awards issued in the previous year. The Appellate Authority received 125 Appeals in the year 2017-18 as compared to 15 Appeals in the previous year. The rise in the number of Appeals followed expansion of the grounds on which Appeals can be filed against the decision of BOs with effect from July 1, 2017.

    The average cost of handling a complaint came down from Rs 3,626/- in 2016-17 to Rs 3,504/- in 2017-18 due to increase in efficiency and economies of scale. Offices of Banking Ombudsman organised awareness campaigns/outreach activities, town hall events, advertisement campaigns to spread awareness about the Scheme primarily covering the rural and semi-urban areas of their respective jurisdictions.

    RBI’s SMS handle ‘RBISAY’ was extensively used for sending text messages on topics such as fictitious offers of money, secured use of electronic banking facilities, BO Scheme, etc. An Integrated Voice Recognition Service facility (by giving a missed call on 14440) was also made available to public by RBI for getting more information on the above.

    The Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 1995 was notified by the Reserve Bank of India on June 14, 1995 under Section 35-A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The aim and objective of the Scheme is to provide a quick and cost-free resolution mechanism for complaints relating to deficiency of banking services of common bank customers, who otherwise find it difficult or cost prohibitive to approach any other redressal fora such as courts. The Scheme is applicable to Scheduled Commercial Banks, Scheduled Primary Urban Co-operative Banks and the Regional Rural Banks.

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