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  Home » Banking Ombudsman

Banking Ombudsman


Objective: The scheme is  introduced with the object of enabling resolution of complaints relating to  certain Services rendered by banks and to facilitate the satisfaction or  settlement of such complaints.

  Who can be Ombudsman: The Reserve Bank of India may  appoint one or more of its officers in the rank of Chief General Manager of  General Manager to be known as Banking Ombudsman to carry out the functions  entrusted to them by or under the Scheme.

             The appointment of Banking  Ombudsman under the above Clause may be made for a period not exceeding three  years at a time.

Who can file a complaint:  A  person himself / his authorized representative (other than an advocate) can  file the complaint on paper OR through electronic media (eMail) OR forwarded by  RBI or Central Govt. (For credit card jurisdiction with reference to Ombudsman  having jurisdiction over the billing address of the card holder.)

Conditions: Complaints can be made when:             

  1. The complaint was made to the bank and bank had  rejected it OR no reply was received within a period of one month OR the  complainant is not satisfied with the reply given by the bank;             
  2. Period of more than one year has not lapsed after  receipt of bank reply.             
  3. The complaint is not for issues already settled / dealt  with Ombudsman OR for which proceedings before court, tribunal or arbitrator or  any other forum is pending or a decree or award or order has been passed;              
  4. The complaint is within limitation period under Indian  Limitation Act 1963.

Rejection of Complaint by Ombudsman

Ombudsman can reject a complaint  where it is frivolous, vexatious, beyond jurisdiction of Ombudsman etc.  Customer can appeal against grounds of rejection to Appellate Authority within 30  days of receipt of communication regarding rejection.

Process of redressal of grievance

By sending copy of the complaint  to the bank and endeavour shall be made for a settlement by agreement through  conciliation or mediation. The proceedings shall be summary in nature.

Award by the Ombudsman

            Where a complaint is not settled  by agreement within a period of one  month from the date of receipt of the complaint, Ombudsman may pass an  award or reject the complaint, on the basis of evidence, the principles of  banking law and practice, directions and guidelines issued by RBI.

award: Award shall specify the more than actual loss  suffered as direct consequence of act of omission or commission of the bank OR  Rs.10 Lac, whichever is lower. A copy of the Award shall be sent to the  complainant and the bank.

Effect of award: Award shall be binding on a bank only if the  complainant send acceptance of in full and final settlement, within 30 days  from the date of receipt of the Award.

: Award shall be binding on a bank only if the  complainant sends acceptance of in full and final settlement, within 30 days  from the date of receipt of the Award.

Customer is to send acceptance of  the award within 30 days of date of receipt of the award. Bank is to implement  the award within one month from the date of receipt of the acceptance from the  complainant and intimate compliance to the Banking Ombudsman.

Rejection of complaint: Rejection can be at any stage if it appears  to be frivolous, vexatious, malafide; OR without sufficient cause; OR not  pursued by the complaint with diligence; OR there is no loss or damage or  inconvenience caused to the complainant; OR is beyond the pecuniary  jurisdiction of Ombudsman.

Appeal: The customer file an appeal Appellage Authority (Dy.  Governor RBI) within 30 days of the date of receipt of the Award (could be  extended by 30 days by Appellate Authority). The appeal by banks should be filed with sanction of the CMD / ED /  CEO. For banks 30 days period for filing appeal begins from date of receipt of  customer’s acceptance. The appellate authority may dismiss / allow the appeal;  OR set aside the Award; OR remand the matter the Ombudsman for fresh disposal  OR modify the Award or pass any order as it may deem fit.

Display of salient features of the scheme: The banks shall  prominently display in all offices / branches of the bank and the name /  address of Ombudsman. The banks shall appoint Nodal Officers at their RO / ZO  and inform the Ombudsman, who shall represent the bank / furnish information to  the Ombudsman.

Ground of complaint

A complaint may relate to  following aspects including loans and advances alleging deficiency in banking  or other services;            

  1. Non-payment or inordinate delay in the payment or  collection of cheques, drafts, bills etc;             
  2. Non-acceptance, of small denomination notes tendered  for any purpose, and for charging of commission in respect thereof;              
  3.  Non –  acceptance, without sufficient cause, of coins tendered and for charging of  commission in respect thereof;             
  4. Non-payment or delay in payment of inward remittances;             
  5. Failure or delay to issue of drafts, pay orders or  bankers’ cheques;             
  6. Non-adherence to prescribed working hours;              
  7. Failure to honour guarantee or letter of credit  commitments;              
  8. Failure / delay to provide a banking facility (other  than loans) promised in writing by a bank or its direct selling agents;              
  9. Delays, non-credit of proceeds to parties’ accounts,  non-payment of deposit or non-observance of RBI directives, applicable to rate  of interest on deposits in any savings, current or other a/c.              
  10. Delays in receipt of export proceeds, handling of  export bills, collections of bills etc., for exporters provided the said  complaints pertain to the bank’s operations in India;             
  11. Complaints from NRIs having a/c in India for their  remittance from abroad, deposits and other bank related matters;              
  12. Refusal to open deposit a/c without any valid reason  for refusal;              
  13. Levying of charges without adequate prior notice to the  customer;             
  14. Non-dherence by the bank or its subsidiaries to the  instructions of RBI on ATM / Debit card operations or credit card operations;              
  15. 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);              
  16. Refusal to accept or delay in accepting payment towards  taxes, as required by reserve bank / government;              
  17. Refusal issue or delay in issuing, or failure to  service or delay in servicing or redemption of Government securities;             
  18. Forced closure of deposit a/c without due notice/  sufficient reason;             
  19. Refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts;              
  20. Non – adherence to fair practices codes as adopted by  the bank;             

Complaints pertaining to loans advances             

  1. Non-observance of RBI directives on interest rates;             
  2. Delays in sanction disbursement or non – observance of  time schedule for disposal of loan applications;             
  3. Non-acceptance of application without furnishing valid  reasons.              
  4. Non-observance of any other direction of RBI             

Procedure for filing Complaint

Any person who has a grievance  against a bank on any one or more of the grounds mentioned in Clause 8 of the  Scheme may, himself or through his authorized representative (other than an  advocate), make a complaint to the Banking Ombudsman within whose jurisdiction  the branch or office of the bank complained against is located.

Provided that a complaint arising  out of the operations of credit  cards  and other types of services with centralized operations, shall be filed before  the Banking Ombudsman within whose territorial jurisdiction the billing address  of the customer is located.

(a) The complaint in writing  shall be duly signed by the complainant or his authorized representative and  shall be, as far as possible, in the form specified in Annexure ‘A’ or as near  as thereto as circumstances admit, stating clearly;

  1. The name and the address of the complainant,              
  2. The name and address of the branch or office of the  bank against which the complaint is made.             
  3. The facts giving rise to the complaint,              
  4. The nature and extent of the loss caused to the  complainant, and              
  5. The relief sought for

The complainant shall file along  with the complaint, copies of the documents, if any, which he proposes to rely  upon and a declaration that the complaint is maintainable under sub-clause (3)  of this clause.

A complaint made through  electronic means shall also be accepted by the Banking Ombudsman and a print  out of such complaint shall be taken on the record of the Banking Ombudsman.

The Banking Ombudsman shall also  entertain complaints covered by this Scheme received by central Government or  Reserve Bank forwarded to him for disposal.

No complaint to the Banking  Ombudsman shall lie unless:-

The complainant had, before  making a complaint to the Banking Ombudsman, made a written representation to  the bank and the bank had rejected the complaint or the complainant had not  received any reply within a period of one month after the bank received his  representation or the complainant is not satisfied with the reply given to him by  the bank;

The complaint is made not later  than one year after the complainant has received the reply of the bank to his  representation or, whiere no reply is received, not later than one year and one  month after the date of the representation to the bank; 

The complaint is not in respect  of the same cause of action which was settled or dealt with on merits by the  Banking Ombudsman in any previous proceedings whether or not received from the  same complainant or along with one or more complaints or one or more of the  parties concerned with the cause of action;

The complaint does not pertain to  the same cause of action, for which any proceedings before any court, tribunal  or arbitrator or any other forum is pending or a decree or Award or order has  been passed by any such court tribunal, arbitator or forum;

The complaint is not frivolous or  vexatious in nature; and

            The complaint is made before the  expiry of the period of limitation prescribed under the Indian Limitation Act,  1963 for such claims.



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