Mumbai: The number of complaints registered at banking ombudsman offices have seen a 25% increase in the fiscal year 2018, with majority of these complaints coming from urban centres owing to increased awareness and poor internal redressal mechanisms of banks.
“The banking ombudsman offices in tier-1 cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad accounted for more than 57% of the total complaints received by all BO offices,” the RBI Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India has stated.
“The higher proportion of complaints from urban areas in recent years is largely due to increasing awareness about grievance redressal mechanism among bank customers and also the efficacy of internal grievance redressal mechanism in banks, not being up to the desired level.”
Of all the complaints received at the ombudsman’s offices, 97% of them were resolved in 2017-18, up from 92% a year earlier.
Currently, there are 21 functional banking ombudsman offices in the country. These offices were established under Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006, and are the first points of contact for consumers seeking grievance redressals and resolutions against consumer frauds and discrepancies in the banking system.
Most complaints received at these offices were related to non-observance of the fair practices code followed by those related to ATM, credit and debit cards, and for failure to meet commitments and mobile banking.
In bank-wise distribution, most complaints received against public sector banks were pension-related while most complaints received against private banks were for credit cards discrepancies.
The RBI plans to set up a compliance and tracking system portal to tackle the problem of cyber-fraud under the ombudsman scheme taking in light the growing impetus of banks and financial institutions on digital transactions and the Centre’s push to a less cash economy.