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Approaching a banking ombudsman

| Updated on: Apr 14, 2012
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In response to queries from readers, here is a brief on how to approach the banking ombudsman.

Whenever you have a grievance against your bank, the bank itself can act as the first point of redressal. Each bank has a box wherein you can drop your complaints and suggestions. If you feel that it may not get picked up from the box in time or if the grievance is unattended to, you can approach the branch manager. A notice mentioning the name, address, email and telephone numbers of the officials of the bank to whom complaints can be addressed has to be displayed prominently by banks in the branches. So, you can file your complaint with the concerned official as well.

While a complaint can be filed even on plain paper, some banks may provide a ‘complaint form' either in paper or in electronic form. Once you fill it up, the bank will give you an acknowledged copy of the complaint.

Any such complaint made to the bank must be resolved within one month. If you find that the bank has not redressed your grievance even after a month you can approach the banking ombudsman (BO). Alongside the names of the bank officials, details relating to the BO are also expected to be displayed by banks. You may find these details in the bank's Web site too. You can approach the BO even if you have received a response from the bank but are not satisfied with it. Banks are mandated to indicate the fact that you can approach the BO in the final letter sent to you regarding redressal of the compliant. The details of the concerned BO would be included in this letter as well.

Filing a complaint

You can file a complaint either on your own or through your authorised representative with the BO under whose jurisdiction the branch/office complained against falls. For complaints relating to credit cards, the complaint should be filed with the BO under whose jurisdiction the billing address of the customer is located. Either way, the bank should be able to direct you to the right BO.

There is also a listing of the addresses and area of operation of the different BOs in the RBI Web site along with hyperlinks to mail your complaints to them. You can either click on these links and email the BO directly or fill up the online complaint form in the RBI Web site. A written complaint can also be filed. A printed form is available for the same. Note that there is no fee/charge for filing.

The complaints, along with supporting documents should be filed within one year of receiving the response from the bank. In cases where no response is received, it should be filed within 13 months of representation to the bank.

According to RBI, the maximum compensation would be “limited to the amount arising directly out of the act or omission by the bank or Rs 10 lakh whichever is lower”. In the case of credit cards, the BO may also award compensation (not exceeding Rs 1 lakh) for mental agony and harassment.

vardhini.c@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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