The Banking Ombudsman

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Banking Ombudsman is a judicial authority functioning under India's Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006, and the authority was created pursuant to the a decision by the Government of India to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to certain services rendered by the banks.

The Banking Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to redress customer complaints against deficiency in certain banking services. As on date, fifteen Banking Ombudsmen been appointed with their offices located mostly in state capitals. All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks are covered under the Scheme.

One can file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman if he has approached his bank for redresssal of his grievance first and has not received reply from the bank within a period of one month.

One can file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman simply by writing on a plain paper. One can also file it online or by sending an email to the Banking Ombudsman. There is a form along with details of the scheme in there website. However, it is not necessary to use this format.

Should have the following detail.

  •  The complaint should have the name and address of the complainant,
  •  The name and address of the branch of the bank against which the complaint is made.
  •  Facts giving rise to the complaint supported by documents, if any, the nature and extent of the loss caused to the complainant, the relief sought from the Banking Ombudsman and a declaration about the compliance of conditions that are required to be complied with by the complainant.

Under what grounds one can complain to The Banking Ombudsman

The Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to the following deficiency in banking services (including internet banking):

  • Non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills etc.;
  • Non-acceptance, without sufficient cause, of small denomination notes tendered for any purpose, and for charging of commission in respect thereof;
  • Non-acceptance, without sufficient cause, of coins tendered and for charging of commission in respect thereof;
  • Non-payment or delay in payment of inward remittances ;
  • Failure to issue or delay in issue of drafts, pay orders or bankers' cheques;
  • Non-adherence to prescribed working hours ;
  • Failure to provide 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 ;
  • Complaints from non-resident Indians having accounts in India in relation to their remittances from abroad, deposits and other bank-related matters;
  • Refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason for refusal;
  • 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 card operations or 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, as required by reserve bank/government;
  • Refusal to issue or delay in issuing, or failure to service or delay in servicing or redemption of government securities;
  • Forced closure of deposit accounts without due notice or without sufficient reason;
  • Refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts;
  • Non-adherence to the fair practices code as adopted by the bank or non-adherence to the provisions of the code of banks commitments to customers issued by banking codes and standards board of India and as adopted by the bank ;
  • Non-observance of reserve bank guidelines on engagement of recovery agents by banks; and
  • Any matter relating to the violation of the directives issued by the reserve bank in relation to banking or other services.