Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Banking Ombudsman

1. What does the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 offer?
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 enables resolution of complaints of bank customers relating to certain services rendered by banks.
2. Has the Banking Ombudsman Scheme come into effect?
The Scheme has come into force from January 1, 2006.
3. Who is a Banking Ombudsman?
The Banking Ombudsman is person appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to redress customer complaints against certain deficiency in banking services.
4. Does the Banking Ombudsman have any legal power?
The Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority. It has power to summon both the parties - bank and its customer, to facilitate resolution of complaint through mediation.
5. How many Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed and where are they located?
As on date, 15 Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed with their offices located mostly in the State Capitals. The addresses of the Banking Ombudsman offices have been provided in the RBI website.
6. Which banks are covered under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006?
All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks are covered under the Scheme.
7. How is the new Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 different from the Old Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2002?
The extent and scope of the new Scheme is wider than the earlier Scheme of 2002. The new Scheme also provides for online submission of complaints. The new Scheme additionally provides for the institution of an 'appellate authority' for providing scope for appeal against an award passed by the Ombudsman both by the bank as well as the complainant.
8. What sort of disputes can the Banking Ombudsman consider?
The Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to the following deficiency in banking services:
  • non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills, etc.;
  • non-acceptance, without sufficient cause, of small denomination notes tendered for any purpose, and for charging of commission for this service;
  • non-acceptance, without sufficient cause, of coins tendered and for charging of commission for this service;
  • non-payment or delay in payment of inward remittances ;
  • failure to issue or delay in issue, of drafts, pay orders or bankers’ cheques;
  • non-adherence to prescribed working hours;
  • failure to provide or delay in providing a banking facility (other than loans and advances) promised in writing by a bank or its direct selling agents;
  • delays, non-credit of proceeds to parties' accounts, non-payment of deposit or non-observance of the Reserve Bank directives, if any, applicable to rate of interest on deposits in any savings, current or other account maintained with a bank ;
  • delays in receipt of export proceeds, handling of export bills, collection of bills etc., for exporters provided the said complaints pertain to the bank's operations in India;
  • refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason for refusal;
  • levying of charges without adequate prior notice to the customer;
  • non-adherence by the bank or its subsidiaries to the instructions of Reserve Bank on ATM/debit card operations or credit card operations;
  • non-disbursement or delay in disbursement of pension to the extent the grievance can be attributed to the action on the part of the bank concerned, (but not with regard to its employees);
  • refusal to accept or delay in accepting payment towards taxes, as required by Reserve Bank/Government;
  • refusal to issue or delay in issuing, or failure to service or delay in servicing or redemption of Government securities;
  • forced closure of deposit accounts without due notice or without sufficient reason;
  • refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts;
  • non-adherence to the fair practices code as adopted by the bank; and
  • any other matter relating to the violation of the directives issued by the Reserve Bank in relation to banking or other services.
  • deficiency in Internet banking services
  • non-adherence to the provisions of Fair Practices Code for lenders as adopted by the banks or Code of Banks Commitment to Customers
  • non-observance of Regulatory guidelines on engagement of recovery agents by the banks

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