Banking Ombudsman is a person who hears complaints relating to certain services rendered by banks. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is introduced under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by RBI with effect from 1995.
The Banking Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to redress customer complaints. All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks are covered under the Scheme.
A Person can make a complaint to the Banking Ombudsman for things such as,
- Inordinate delay in the payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills etc.
- Non-payment or delay in payment of inward remittances.
- Non-adherence to prescribed working hours
- Complaints from NRIs 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
- Failure to provide or delay in providing a banking facility promised in writing by a bank or its direct selling agents.
- Forced closure of deposit accounts without due notice or without sufficient reason;
- Refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts.
- Refusal to accept or delay in accepting payment towards taxes, as required by Reserve Bank/Government.
- Delays in receipts of export proceeds, handling of export bills, collection of bills etc. for exporters provided the said complaints pertain to the Banks operations in India.
- Non-acceptance of application for loans without furnishing valid reasons to the applicant
It is possible to file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman simply by writing on a plain paper. One can also file it online by sending an email to the Banking Ombudsman. Banking Ombudsman can order the Bank to compensate the actual money loss OR Rs.10 lakh (whichever is lower). In case of Credit card related cases, the Ombudsman can order the bank to pay additional fines (upto Rs.1 lakh) for the mental harassment caused to the customer.
The Banking Ombudsman does not charge any fee for filing and resolving customers’ complaints.
If a person is not satisfied with the decision passed by the Banking Ombudsman, he/she can approach the appellate authority against the Banking Ombudsmen’s decision. Appellate Authority is vested with a Deputy Governor of the RBI.