Rise in the number of complaints received against the banks
The Banking Ombudsmen Scheme was introduced in 1995 under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, to provide an inexpensive forum to customers for redressing their grievances against deficiencies in banking services. Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) received over 76,0oo complaints during the financial year 2013-14. As per the reply provided by RBI to Abhay Kolarkar, the offices of 15 ombudsmen appointed by the apex banks received 76,061 complaints during the last fiscal.
The list of banks against whom the complaints were received includes nationalized, cooperative and private banks.
· State Bank of India (21,000 cases),
· ICICI (5,209 case),
· HDFC (5,015 cases),
· Orissa Gramya Bank - 4,109
· Standard Chartered Bank - 3,717
· Punjab National Bank - 3,560
· Axis Bank - 3,028
· Bank of Baroda - 2,295
· Canara Bank - 1,984
· Union Bank of India - 1,957
· Bank of India - 1,933
· Central Bank of India - 1,631
· Indian Overseas bank - 1,361
· Abu Dhabi Commercial (1),
· Barclays (104),
· Deutshe (Asia) (67),
· HSBC (308),
· Oman International (3),
· Bank of Tokyo and Mitsubishi (1)
· Nagpur Nagrik Sahakari (9 complaints) and
· Shikshak Sahakari (2 cases).
The rise in number of complaints is indicative of expansion of the service sector and rise in expectations of the customers. Customers can lodge a complaint for deficiencies in services of banks in case of:
· default or delay in cheque and draft collection/issuance,
· violation of any RBI directives,
· levy of any kind of service charge without a prior notice,
· refusal to open savings bank account,
· non-disbursement or delay in pension,
· closure of accounts without a prior notice, and
· delays in sanctioning/disbursement of the loans.