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The Banking Ombudsman Scheme The Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006 is a scheme of the reserve bank of india (RBI) to enable resolution of complaints of bank customers relating to services rendered by banks. It provides a forum to bank customers to seek redressal of their complaints against banks, including those relating to credit cards, service charges, promises given by the sales agents of banks, but not kept by banks, as also, delays in delivery of bank services. The bank customers would now be able to complain about non-payment or any inordinate delay in payments or collection of cheques towards bills or remittances by banks, as also non-acceptance of small denomination notes and coins or charging of commission for acceptance of small denomination notes and coins by banks. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme was first introduced in 1995 and was later revised in 2002 and 2006. Who is a Banking Ombudsman? By definition he Is a person appointed by government to investigate individual's complaint against public authority. In banking context,he is especially appointed to redress customer complaints against certain deficiencies in banking services for scheduled commercial banks ,regional rural banks ans scheduled operative banks. Who appoints a Banking Ombudsman? RBI RBI official of the rank of Chief General manager or General Manager. The Banking Ombudsman The Reserve Bank of India may appoint officers in the rank of CGM or GM as banking ombudsman to carry out the functions entrusted to them under the scheme. A Banking Ombudsman: Is a quasi judicial authority appointed by RBI Facilitates resolution of complaints by mediating between the customer and the bank. Has the power to summon both the bank and its customers Is appointed for a period not exceeding three years at a time It is a quasi judicial authority a neutral body who acts as judge between the customer and banks. Powers of the Banking Ombudsman As per the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006, the Banking Ombudsman receives and considers complaints relating to the deficiencies in banking or other services filed on the grounds mentioned in clause 8 of the scheme. The Banking Ombudsman facilitates the redressal of complaints either through a Settlement between the bank concerned and the aggrieved parties or by passing an Award in accordance with the Scheme. The Banking Ombudsman sends a report to the Governor, RBI, on 30th June every year. The report contains a general review of the activities of the Banking Ombudsmans Office during the preceding financial year.

Jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman As on date, 15 Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed with their offices located mostly in the State Capitals of India. The addresses of the Banking Ombudsman offices have been provided in the RBI website. Types of Banking Services The Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to the following deficiency in banking services: Clause 8 Non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills, inward remittances. Non-acceptance, without sufficient cause, of small denomination notes or coins tendered and for charging of commission Non-adherence to prescribed working hours Failure to issue or delay in issue of drafts, pay orders Failure to honour guarantee or letter of credit commitments Failure 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 handling or collection of export proceeds/bills for exporters provided the said complaints pertain to the bank's operations in India Complaints from Non-Resident Indians having accounts in India Refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason for refusal Refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts 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/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, in issuing, or failure to service or delay in servicing or redemption of Government securities Forced closure of deposit accounts without due notice or reason Non-adherence to the fair practices code as adopted by the bank Any other matter relating to the violation of the directives issued by the Reserve Bank in relation to banking or other services. A complaint on any one of the following grounds alleging deficiency in banking service in respect of loans and advances may be filed with the Banking Ombudsman having jurisdiction: Non-observance of Reserve Bank Directives on interest rates Delays in sanction, disbursement or non-observance of prescribed time schedule for disposal of loan applications Non-acceptance of application for loans without furnishing valid reasons to the applicant

Non-observance of any other direction or instruction of the Reserve Bank as may be specified by the Reserve Bank for this purpose from time to time The Banking Ombudsman may also deal with such other matter as may be specified by the Reserve Bank from time to time in this behalf.

Procedure for Filing a Complaint

Methods of Lodging a Complaint As per the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006, a complainant can file a complaint in the following ways: By writing on a plain paper By sending an email to the banking Ombudsman by accessing the online complaint link at By filling up a prescribed form which is to be made available at all bank branches. Details Provided in the Complaint: Name and the address of the complainant Name and address of the branch or office of the bank against which the complaint is made Facts about the situation which led to the complaint (supported by documents) The nature and the extent of loss caused to the complainant (if any) because of the situation The relief sought from the Banking Ombudsman A declaration that the complainant has complied with all the specified conditions. Pre-Conditions for Filing a Complaint The complainant must fulfill the following conditions before filing a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman: The complainant should have attempted to find a satisfactory solution directly with the bank by making a written representation to the bank named in the complaint. If no reply is received from the bank within a period of one month from the time of filing complaint or if the bank rejects the complaint the complainant may file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman. However, the complaint should be made within one year of the occurrence of the event for which the complainant has filed a complaint. No complaint can be made on a subject matter for which any proceedings before any court, tribunal or any arbitrator or any other forum is pending or a decree or award or a final order has already been passed by any such court, tribunal, arbitrator or forum. A complaint cannot be filed for a matter which was settled through the office of the banking ombudsman in any previous proceedings. An authorized representative can file a complaint on behalf of the complainant. However, advocates cannot represent the complainant in the office of the Ombudsman.

Settlement of Complaint Verifying a Complaint The Banking Ombudsman may reject a complaint at any stage if it appears that the complaint: Is frivolous, vexatious, malafide or without any sufficient cause Is not pursued by the complainant with reasonable diligence Will not cause any loss, damage or inconvenience to the complainant (in the opinion of banking ombudsman) Is beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of banking ombudsman. Requires elaborate documentary and oral evidence and the proceedings before the Banking Ombudsman are not appropriate for adjudication of such a complaint (in the opinion of the banking ombudsman)

Role of the Appellate Authority

Ombudsman Escalated Complaint Management

The Process at ICICI Bank Let us learn how ICICI receives the complaints from the Banking Ombudsman. After a customer files a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman, as per the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006, the Banking Ombudsman sends the customer complaints to the Nodal Officer appointed by the Bank in each State. The Banking Ombudsman directs the banks to send its reply along with the necessary documents and evidences, within the specified time period. ICICI bank has a centralized tracking system called Finnacle Customer Relationship Management or FCRM which captures the customer complaints received from the office of the Banking Ombudsman. The FCRM system generates a unique Service Request Number for every complaint received from the Banking Ombudsman. Each service request in the fcrm has a turnaround time of 5-6 days which the bank seeks to improve constantly.</TD></TR></TBODY><!--EndFragment-Let us learn how ICICI Bank receives the complaints from the Banking Ombudsman. ICICI Bank has an escalation matrix designed to ensure that the complaints received from the banking ombudsman are processed appropriately and within the stipulated time period. The Service Request for a complaint is escalated to the appropriate level as per the Escalation Matrix given or at the local level. For example, to the Branch Group id. If the designated authority as per the escalation matrix does not process the complaint within the

stipulated period, then, the Service Request for the complaint is automatically escalated to the next level in the escalation matrix the Seniors. If the complaint is unresolved within the prescribed time period as per the escalation matrix, the same is escalated to the senior management. If a case remains unresolved even at the Senior Management level, then it can be further escalated to the corporate office by writing to Tracking Complaints Let us learn what action ICICI Bank takes on complaints received from Banking Ombudsman A root cause analysis is carried out by a specialized team, based on which process fix and reviews are implemented All complaints are monitored at the central level and reported to department heads and the Senior Management. Regional Relationship Managers are appointed by ICICI Bank at locations where Banking Ombudsman Office are situated to build a good rapport with the regulator/ombudsman and ensure effective and timely resolution of complaints.

QUESTIONS: 1. A complaint can be lodged with the banking ombudsman when the complainant did not receive a satisfactory reply from the bank with in? *one month of filing the complaint 2. All Banks should take due care regarding complaints lodged with banking ombudsman.*TRUE 3. The Banking ombudsman is a legal representative who fights for the cause of the customer against the bank*FALSE 4. Can a complaint be made on a subject on which proceedings are taking place in the judicial court / tribunal?*No 5. A complaint should be made with in ------ of occurrence of an event that led to the complainant lodging a complaint.* year 6. Banking ombudsman scheme 2006is the scheme of *RBI 7. Banking ombudsman is a person who handles customers in a bank*False 8. What action does the Banking Ombudsman take if a bank is unable to reply to a complaint with in one month or extended reasonable time, of receiving the complaint from the banking ombudsman? *Passes an award which a bank must comply 9. Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority appointed by RBI*True 10. Can a complainant approach the Banking ombudsman without even filing a complaint with bank?*No 11. Any official working in RBI can be appointed as a Banking Ombudsman.*False 12. Banking ombudsman scheme is revised in the year 1997.*False 13. ABC bank has refused to issue a demand draft since the counter staff has lot of other work. Can a customer approach the banking ombudsman in this case?*Yes 14. Banking Ombudsman is appointed for a period not less than* years 15. Which of the following complaints are not related to deficiencies in banking services? *The bank has imposed a fine because the cheque of the customer bounced 16. Mr.Lal could not make an urgent bank draft even though he made his request during the banking hours because the bank employee claimed that there was too much load on him that day. Can a customer approach the banking ombudsman in this case?*Yes 17. A complaint can be filed by calling Ombudsman on phone.*False 18. Can an advocate represent a complainant in the office of the ombudsman?*No 19. Can a banking ombudsman reject a complaint at any stage*Yes 20. Banking ombudsman is an officer of Rank of*General manager 21. Can an authorised representative file a complaint on behalf of the complainant to ombudsman? *Yes 22. Can a depositor deposit more than one cheque at a time?*Yes 23. The turnaround time for servicing customer complaint at ICICI is*24hrs 24. Chairman of a bank can be appointed as an Appellate authority.*No 25. What are the ways in which people usually complain?*All 26. Appellate authority has the power to dismiss an appeal.?*True 27. Banking ombudsman sends yearly report on June 30 to?*Governor RBI 28. Banking Ombudsman is a?*Quasi Judicial Authority 29. Can an appellate authority give fresh guidelines to the banking ombudsman on the award passed by the ombudsman?*Yes 30. Appellate authority allows further period of 30 days to the bank and the complainant to file an appeal.*True.