National

10.5% fall in plaints to banking ombudsman

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 02, 2013 Published on August 02, 2013

There has been a 10.5 per cent decline in the number of complaints received by the office of the banking ombudsman, Thiruvananthapuram, during 2012-13 when compared with the previous year.

The year saw 2,274 complaints being filed against 2,541 during 2011-12, A. Madasamy, banking ombudsman for Kerala, Union Territory of Lakshadweep and Mahe, told newspersons here.

HIGHEST NUMBER

The highest number of complaints was received under the category ‘failure to meet commitments.’ ‘Loans and advances’ (mainly education and housing loans) accounted for 15.79 per cent of the total complaints.

This was followed by ‘credit/debit/ATM cards’ at 15.08 per cent and ‘levying of charges’ at 11.92 per cent.

Two major banks, State Bank of Travancore (449) and State Bank of India (383), contributed 832 complaints while other banks put together accounted for 1,346. The rest (96) were against services of institutions other than banks, Madasamy said.

The highest decline in complaints recorded was in respect of South Indian Bank (38 per cent), followed y State Bank of Travancore (16 per cent) and Canara Bank (eight per cent).

‘MORE SERIOUS’

In the case of Union Bank of India, the decline was seven per cent while that of ICICI Bank was six per cent. State Bank of India showed a marginal decline of one per cent.

These declines indicated that banks were becoming serious about customer service, Madasamy said. Those banks with robust internal grievance redressal system could bring about positive results.

“In terms of ‘complaints per branch,’ South Indian Bank and Federal Bank have done well as they reported only 0.2 complaints per branch.”

The decline in complaints received was observed across all districts barring two, namely Palakkad and Kozhikkode.

MAJOR CITIES

A large number of complaints had originated from the two major towns of the State, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi.

Thiruvaanthapuram and Ernakulam districts together accounted for 32.93 per cent of the total complaints received (individually 16.71 per cent and 16.22 per cent).

The remote and hilly districts of Wayanad and Kasaragod accounted for a meagre 0.96 per cent and 0.83 per cent of the total.

OUTREACH EVENTS

Paradoxically, Madasamy said, the district with the largest population (Malappuram, with12.30 per cent) too had an insignificant share of 2.73 per cent of the total complaints.

It was evident that future outreach events of the Reserve Bank/financial literacy campaigns would have to be stepped up in these regions to make people aware of the banking ombudsman scheme.

All complaints received at the office were dealt with expeditiously and a majority of them was closed within one month of receipt, Madasamy said. As on June 30, there were only 124 complaints pending, which constituted 5.45 per cent of the total number received.

> vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 02, 2013
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