RBI released Annual Report of the Ombudsman Schemes for 2018-19. Read Highlights

RBI released Annual Report of the Ombudsman Schemes for the year 2018-19 – Read Highlights

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Annual Report of the “Ombudsman Schemes of RBI for the year 2018-19” today.

Banking Ombudsman Scheme

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme (BOS) was notified by RBI in 1995 under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. During 2018-19 the BOS was administered by RBI through 21 Offices of Banking Ombudsman (OBOs) covering all states and union territories.

As per RBI analysis of complaints handled by Banking Ombudsmen (BOs) during 2018-19 :

(a) Total complaints received at OBOs were 1,95,901 in 2018-19 over the previous year (1,63,590). Out of these 72.19 per cent were received electronically through the online portal and by emails.

(b) The disposal rate of complaints received for 2018-19 was 94.03 per cent which was slightly lower than the previous year.  This was largely due to rise in volume of complaints.

(c) as per the complaints received, non-observance of fair practices code was the main grievance. However,

(d) Complaints on ATM and debit card issues increased from 15.08 per cent in 2017-18 to 18.65 per cent in 2018-19;

(e) Complaints received on grounds relating to pension, levy of charges without notice, credit card related issues and remittance declined. The number of complaints pertaining to ‘mis-selling’ gone up.

(f) The number of complaints resolved by agreement i.e., through intervention of OBOs, mediation and conciliation, etc. rose.

(g) The average cost of handling a complaint came down from ₹3,504/- in 2017-18 to ₹3,145/- in 2018-19.

Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC-O Scheme)

The NBFC-O Scheme was notified by RBI under Section 45L of the RBI Act, 1934 on February 23, 2018. The Scheme is administered from offices of the NBFC-Os in four metro centers viz, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi for handling complaints from the respective zones, so as to cover the entire country. Major highlights of the complaints received by NBFC-Os are as follows:

  1. The number of complaints received at NBFC-Os rose from 675 in four months operation during 2017-18 to 3,991 in 2018-19;

  2. Non-adherence to fair practices code constituted 40.44 per cent of complaints received, followed by non-observance of RBI directions (17.21 per cent), levy of charges without notice (12.63 per cent) and lack of transparency in contract / loan agreement (9.17 per cent);

  3. The disposal rate of NBFC-Os stood at 95.41 per cent in 2017-18 and 99.10 per cent in 2018-19;

  4. One appeal has been received against the decision of NBFC-O during 2018-19, as compared to nil in the previous year.

C. Important developments during the Year 2018-19

  1. Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions was introduced on January 31, 2019. It is administered by the 22 OBOs;

  2. The NBFC-O Scheme was extended with effect from April 26, 2019 to cover the regulated non-deposit taking NBFCs having asset size of ₹100.00 crore and above;

  3. RBI instructions on appointment of Internal Ombudsmen (IOs) was reviewed and IO Scheme, 2018 was introduced with effect from September 3, 2018. The IO mechanism is now applicable to all Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks) having more than 10 outlets in India;

  4. A third office of the Ombudsman at RBI, New Delhi was set up with effect from July 1, 2019 with a view to meet the growing demand for resolution of complaints;

  5. A state-of-art and user-friendly web-based online Application named Complaint Management System was launched for filing complaints, which also allows the customers to track their complaints;

  6. Education and awareness campaigns were undertaken through print and electronic media for the benefit of customers / members of public at large;

Source: RBI Press Release

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