The Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 launched today
The Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 was launched today. The Scheme integrates the existing three Ombudsman schemes of RBI namely, (i) the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006; (ii) the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018; and (iii) the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019.
The Scheme will provide cost-free redress of customer complaints involving deficiency in services rendered by entities regulated by RBI, if not resolved to the satisfaction of the customers or not replied within a period of 30 days by the regulated entity.
In addition to integrating the three existing schemes, the Scheme also includes under its ambit Non-Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks with a deposit size of ₹50 crore and above. The Scheme adopts ‘One Nation One Ombudsman’ approach by making the RBI Ombudsman mechanism jurisdiction neutral.
There is no limit on the amount in a dispute that can be brought before the Ombudsman for which the Ombudsman can pass an Award. However, for any consequential loss suffered by the complainant, the Ombudsman shall have the power to provide a compensation up to Rupees 20 lakh, in addition to, up to Rupees One lakh for the loss of the complainant’s time, expenses incurred and for harassment/mental anguish suffered by the complainant
Some of the salient features of Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 are:
(i) It will no longer be necessary for a complainant to identify under which scheme he/she should file complaint with the Ombudsman.
(ii) The Scheme defines ‘deficiency in service’ as the ground for filing a complaint, with a specified list of exclusions. Therefore, the complaints would no longer be rejected simply on account of “not covered under the grounds listed in the scheme”.
(iii) The Scheme has done away with the jurisdiction of each ombudsman office.
(iv) A Centralised Receipt and Processing Centre has been set up at RBI, Chandigarh for receipt and initial processing of physical and email complaints in any language.
(v) The responsibility of representing the Regulated Entity and furnishing information in respect of complaints filed by customers against the Regulated Entity would be that of the Principal Nodal Officer in the rank of a General Manager in a Public Sector Bank or equivalent.
(vi) The Regulated Entity will not have the right to appeal in cases where an Award is issued by the ombudsman against it for not furnishing satisfactory and timely information/documents.
The Executive Director-in charge of Consumer Education and Protection Department of RBI would be the Appellate Authority under the Scheme.
Complaints can continue to be filed online on https://cms.rbi.org.in. Complaints can also be filed through the dedicated e-mail or sent in physical mode to the ‘Centralised Receipt and Processing Centre’ set up at Reserve Bank of India, 4th Floor, Sector 17, Chandigarh – 160017 in the format.
A Contact Centre with a toll-free number – 14448 (9:30 am to 5:15 pm) – is also there in Hindi, English and in eight regional languages which will be expanded to cover other Indian languages in future. The Contact Centre will provide information/clarifications regarding the alternate grievance redress mechanism of RBI and to guide complainants in filing of a complaint.
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