Banking customers can hope for more efficient complaint resolution from their banks in the New Year. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) promised a strengthened internal redressal framework by January 2021. RBI governor Shaktikanta Das made the announcement as part of his monetary policy statement on Friday.
Greater disclosures, monetary disincentives
For one, banks will have to make more disclosures on customer complaints received and handled by them. The RBI has also announced monetary disincentives for banks with a large number of maintainable (or valid) complaints. If maintainable complaints are “comparatively higher,” banks will have to cough up the cost of redressal of complaints.
The framework proposes a review of banks’ complaint resolution mechanisms and supervisory action against banks that fail to improve their redressal mechanism in a time-bound manner. These detailed guidelines to strengthen banks’ grievance redressal mechanisms and customer service will be out next month.
Apart from the bank’s routine channels and internal ombudsman scheme introduced in 2018, aggrieved customers can also approach the RBI’s banking ombudsman offices.
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However, customers cannot directly approach external ombudsman offices. You need to first register your complaint with your bank, which should address the grievance within 30 days. If you are not satisfied with your bank’s response or the bank fails to revert altogether, you can knock on the banking ombudsman’s door. You can write to the banking ombudsman with supporting documents within a year of the bank having failed to resolve your grievance. Alternatively, you can file your complaint online through https://cms.rbi.org.in
. The ombudsman will resolve the issue, either by bringing about an amicable solution through conciliation between you and the bank or pass an order. However, if you are not happy with the order either, you can write to the RBI deputy governor. If all else fails, you can approach the consumer courts.