Banking Ombudsmen Scheme
Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a mechanism created by the RBI to address the complaints raised by bank customers. It is run by the RBI directly to ensure customer protection in the banking industry. Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority functioning under India’s Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006, and the authority was created pursuant to a decision made by the Government of India to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to certain services rendered by the banks. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme was first introduced in India in 1995, and was revised in 2002. The current scheme became operative from 1 January 2006, and replaced and superseded the banking Ombudsman Scheme 2002.
The Banking Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by the Reserve Bank of India. He has the responsibility to redress customer complaints against deficiency in certain banking services. At present fifteen Ombudsmen were appointed by the RBI to settle complaints and they are appointed in state capitals. All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks are covered under the Scheme.
The Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to a number of deficiencies related to banking operations including internet banking. RBI has mentioned a large number of service deficiencies by banks to customers where the customers can approach the Ombudsman through a complaint.
Grounds of Complaints before Ombudsman
1) Complaints Pertaining to Deficiency in any of the banking Services such as:-
• Non-payment or delay in payment of cheques, drafts, bills, etc
• Non acceptance of small denomination notes without any reason and also charging of commission in respect thereof
• Non issuance of drafts to customers
• Non adherence to prescribed working hours by the branches
• Failure to honour guarantee or letter of credit
• Claims in regards to fraudulent withdrawals or fraudulent encashment of cheque or a bank draft
• Complaints for any of the accounts pertaining to delays , non credit of proceeds to parties accounts
• Complaints for non observance of RBI’s directives applicable to rate of interests on deposits or violation of directives on any other matter
• Complaints from exporters for delays in receipt of export proceeds, handling of export bills, collections of bills
• Complaints from NRI’s in regards to remittance from abroad
• Complaints pertaining to refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason
2) Complaints concerning loans & advances
• Non observance of RBI directives on interest rates
• Delays in sanction or disbursement of loan applications
• Non acceptance of loan application without any valid reason
• Non observance of any other directives by RBI
Procedure for lodging complaint
Any person who has a grievance against a services as mentioned above in Clause 12 of the scheme can approach Banking Ombudsman for addressing his concern. The person can make a complaint to Banking Ombudsman within whose jurisdiction the branch or office of the bank complained against is located.
The complaint filed should be in writing duly signed by the complainant. It should clearly state the name and address of complainant along with name and address of branch of bank against which complaint is being made. It should also give facts causing complaint supported by documents along with description of nature and extent of loss.
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