NEWS & ADVICE : HOME LOANS
Banking Ombudsman: to the aid of the customer
By Joseph Samson
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Customers have been often found to be aggrieved by deficiency in appropriate service by banks. Be it a delay in check payment or remittance facility or any other kind of service, grievances of the customer against banks have been many.

In order to address the complaints and grievances of customers against banks, a forum has been formed known as the Banking Ombudsman. The concept of Banking Ombudsman was introduced in India in the year 1995. It was revised thereafter in the years 2002 and 2006.

The Banking Ombudsman is appointed by Reserve Bank of India. He is a senior official appointed from the staff of the office of RBI. Unlike many other sectors where the senior authority usually a retired official holding top positions in government institutions/banks, the banking ombudsman is an in-service official of RBI mostly chief general managers/senior general managers.

Under the amendment in the year 2006, it was decided that the banking ombudsman should not be from any bank and should solely be from the staff of RBI so as to maintain the idea of impartial justice.

There are 15 offices of banking ombudsman in India presently. A customer has to file his complaint to the nearest office in his area.

The office of Banking Ombudsman handles issues against all commercial banks, cooperative banks as well as regional rural banks (RRBs).

It handles cases related to any kind of trouble faced by the customer in availing banking services which he has a right in. It also addresses to cases related to internet banking. It takes up cases having valuation less than Rs 10 lakhs. In case the customer has been made to go through phase of mental harassment and agony in the process, he can also be compensated by Banking Ombudsman in genuine cases.


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(Comments Posted : 3) Post Your Comments
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Thomas Dawson (Posted: Jul 9, 2015)
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Ron Collins (Posted: Dec 17, 2014)
3. Sir, as one of the officers currently working in one of the Banking Ombudsman's Offices in India, I feel thankful to the author of this article for providing information regarding the Banking Ombudsman Scheme which would undoubtedly be of immense utility to ordinary, unprivileged bank customers, it is important to note that the Banking Ombudsman is conceived as a forum for amicable settlement of disputes between banks and their customers. It deals with only certain selected categories of grievances, and the exact details of these eligible categories are specified in clause 8 of the Scheme. [One could download the Scheme from the RBI Website]. Furthermore, disputes must be raised before the Ombudsman within one year from the date of receipt of reply from the concerned bank in the event of the solution proposed by the bank is found unsatisfactory, or, where the bank has failed to furnish a formal reply to the initial complaint, within 13 months from the date of actually lodging the same with the bank. The rationale of the Scheme is to provide a means for amicable resolution to the eligible categories of disputes and where deemed appropriate, expeditious relief to aggrieved customers which is deemed reasonable considering the facts and circumstances of each case and which need not necessarily be a handsome compensation. Pursuit of vindictive attitude will not be encouraged, inasmuch as the Scheme is basically predicated on the assumption that the relationship between the bank and the complainant-customer is a continuing, enduring one, notwithstanding occasional grievances and disputes.
Aditham Subbarao (Posted: Aug 23, 2012)
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