BANKING OMBUDSMAN SCHEME – 2006
A. INTRODUCTION:
1. What does the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 offer?
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 enables resolution of complaints of
bank customers relating to certain services rendered by banks.
2. Has the Banking Ombudsman Scheme come into effect?
The Scheme has come into force from January 1, 2006.
3. Who is a Banking Ombudsman?
The Banking Ombudsman is person appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to
redress customer complaints against certain deficiency in banking services.
4. Does the Banking Ombudsman have any legal power?
The Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority. It has power to summon
both the parties – bank and its customer, to facilitate resolution of complaint
through mediation.
5. How many Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed and where are they
located?
As on date, 15 Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed with their offices
located mostly in the State Capitals. The addresses of the Banking Ombudsman
offices have been provided in the RBI website.
6. Which banks are covered under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006?
All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Scheduled Primary
Co-operative Banks are covered under the Scheme.
7. How is the new Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 different from the Old
Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2002?
The extent and scope of the new Scheme is wider than the earlier Scheme of
2002. The new Scheme also provides for online submission of complaints. The
new Scheme additionally provides for the institution of an ‘appellate authority’ for
providing scope for appeal against an award passed by the Ombudsman both by
the bank as well as the complainant.
B. TYPES OF COMPLAINTS BEFORE BANKING OMBUDSMAN
8. What sort of disputes can the Banking Ombudsman consider?
The Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to the
following deficiency in banking services: non-payment or inordinate delay in the
payment or collection of cheques, drafts, bills, etc.; non-acceptance, without
sufficient cause, of small denomination notes tendered for any purpose, and for
charging of commission for this service; non-acceptance, without sufficient
cause, of coins tendered and for charging of commission for this service; nonpayment
or delay in payment of inward remittances ; failure to issue or delay in
issue, of drafts, pay orders or bankers’ cheques; non-adherence to prescribed
working hours; failure to honour guarantee or letter of credit commitments ;
failure to provide or delay in providing a banking facility (other than loans and
advances) promised in writing by a bank or its direct selling agents; delays, noncredit
of proceeds to parties’ accounts, non-payment of deposit or nonobservance
of the Reserve Bank directives, if any, applicable to rate of interest
on deposits in any savings, current or other account maintained with a bank ;
delays in receipt of export proceeds, handling of export bills, collection of bills
etc., for exporters provided the said complaints pertain to the bank’s operations in
India; refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason for refusal;
levying of charges without adequate prior notice to the customer; non-adherence
by the bank or its subsidiaries to the instructions of Reserve Bank on ATM/debit
card operations or credit card operations; 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);
refusal to accept or delay in accepting payment towards taxes, as required by
Reserve Bank/Government; refusal to issue or delay in issuing, or failure to
service or delay in servicing or redemption of Government securities; forced
closure of deposit accounts without due notice or without sufficient reason;
refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts; non-adherence to the fair
practices code as adopted by the bank; and any other matter relating to the
violation of the directives issued by the Reserve Bank in relation to banking or
other services.
9. Will the Banking Ombudsman consider complaints of Non-Resident Indians?
Yes, the Banking Ombudsman will consider complaints from Non-Resident
Indians having accounts in India in relation to their remittances from abroad,
deposits and other bank-related matters.
C. APPLYING TO BANKING OMBUDSMAN
10. When can the complainant file his complaint?
He can file his complaint before the Banking Ombudsman if the reply is not
received from the bank within a period of one month, after the bank concerned
has received his representation, or the bank rejects the complaint, or the
complainant is not satisfied with the reply given to him by the bank.
11. Does the complainant have to fulfill any conditions before complaining to the
Banking Ombudsman?
For filing a complaint before the Banking Ombudsman, it is essential for a
complainant to first attempt to find a satisfactory solution directly with his bank by
making a written representation to the bank named in the complaint. The
complaint should, however, be made before expiry of period of one year after the
cause of action has arisen.
12. Can a complaint be made before a Banking Ombudsman on the same subject
matter settled through pervious proceedings before any of the Banking
Ombudsmen?
No. The complaint should not be for the same subject matter that was settled
through the office of the Banking Ombudsman in any previous proceedings.
13. Can a complaint be made before a Banking Ombudsman on the same subject
matter for which any proceedings before any court, tribunal or arbitrator or any
other forum is pending or a decree or award or a final order, has already been
passed by any such competent court, tribunal, arbitrator or forum?
No.
14. Is there any procedure for filing the complaint before the Banking Ombudsman?
A complainant can file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman simply by
writing on a plain paper. He can also file it online at
www.bankingombudsman.rbi.org.in or by sending an email to the Banking
Ombudsman. There is also a prescribed form for filing a complaint, which is
available with all the branches of the banks. However, it is not necessary to use
this format. The complainant should, however, incorporate all the required
information.
15. Can a complaint be filed by an authorized representative of the complainant?
Yes. The complainant can be filed by an authorized representative (other than an
advocate) of the complainant.
16. Is there any cost involved in filing complaints with Banking Ombudsman?
No. The Banking Ombudsman does not charge any fee for resolving customers’
complaints.
17. What details are required in the application?
The complaint should have the name and address of the complainant, the name
and address of the branch or office of the bank against which the complaint is
made, facts giving rise to the complaint supported by documents, if any, the
nature and extent of the loss caused to the complainant, the relief sought from
the Banking Ombudsman and a declaration about the compliance of conditions
which are required to be complied with by the complainant.
D. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE BANKING OMBUDSMAN
18. What happens when a complaint is received by the Banking Ombudsman?
The Banking Ombudsman endeavours to promote, through conciliation or
mediation, a settlement of the complaint by agreement between the complaint
and the bank named in the complaint.
19. What happens if the bank makes an offer to settle?
If the terms of settlement (offered by the bank) are acceptable to the complainant
in full and final settlement of his complaint, the Banking Ombudsman will pass an
order as per the terms of settlement which becomes binding on the bank and the
complainant.
20. What happens if the complaint is not settled by agreement?
If a complaint is not settled by an agreement within a period of one month, the
Banking Ombudsman proceeds further to pass an award. Before passing an
award, the Banking Ombudsman provides reasonable opportunity to the
complainant and the bank, to present their case.
21. What will the Banking Ombudsman consider for passing an award?
For passing an award, the Banking Ombudsman is guided by the documentary
evidence placed before him by the parties, the principles of banking law and
practice, directions, instructions and guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of
India and such other factors, which in his opinion are necessary in the interest of
justice.
E. AWARD GIVEN BY BANKING OMBUDSMAN
22. What happens when the Banking Ombudsman passes an award?
After an award is passed, its copy is sent to the complainant and the bank named
in the complaint. It is open to the complainant to accept the award in full and final
settlement of his complaint or to reject it.
23. What is to be done by the complainant if the award is acceptable to him?
If the award is acceptable to the complainant, he is required to send to the bank
concerned, a letter of acceptance of the award in full and final settlement of his
complaint, within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the copy of the
award by him.
24. Can a complainant seek extension of time for sending his letter of acceptance of
the award?
Yes, a complainant can make a written request to the Banking Ombudsman, for
extension of time with the reasons for seeking such extension.
25. What does Banking Ombudsman do on receipt of request from a complainant for
seeking extension of time for sending his letter of acceptance of the award?
If the Banking Ombudsman is satisfied with the reasons stated by the
complainant in his letter of request for extension of time (for sending his letter of
acceptance of the award), he may grant extension of time up to further period of
15 days for such compliance.
26. What happens if the complainant sends a letter of acceptance of the award in full
and final settlement of his claim?
If the bank is satisfied with the award, within a period of one month (from the date
of receipt of letter of acceptance from the complainant of the award in full and
final settlement of his claim in the matter), the bank is required to comply with the
award and intimate the compliance to the Banking Ombudsman.
27. Is there any further recourse available to the complainant, if he rejects the
Banking Ombudsman’s award?
If the complainant is not satisfied with the award passed by the Banking
Ombudsman, he can approach the appellate authority against the Banking
Ombudsmen’s decision.
28. Does the rejection of an award by the complainant also bar any recourse and
remedy available to him in respect of his grievances, before court, forum or any
other authority as per law in force?
The rejection of an award by the complainant does not affect any other recourse
and/or remedies available to him as per the law.
29. What if the Award is not acceptable to the bank?
The bank has the option to file an appeal before the appellate authority under the
scheme.
F. APPEAL AGAINST THE AWARD
30. Who is the appellate authority?
The appellate authority is the Deputy Governor in the Reserve Bank of India.
31. Is there any time limit for filing an appeal?
Either party aggrieved by the award may, within 30 days of the date of receipt of
the award, appeal against the award before the appellate authority. The appellate
authority may, if he is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient cause for not
making an application for appeal within time, also allow a further period not
exceeding 30 days.
The banks can appeal only with the prior sanction of their Chairman or, in his
absence, the Managing Director or the Executive Director or the Chief Executive
Officer or any other officer of equal rank.
32. How does the appellate authority deal with the appeal?
The appellate authority may
i. dismiss the appeal; or
ii. allow the appeal and set aside the award; or
iii. send the matter to the Banking Ombudsman for fresh disposal in
accordance with such directions as the appellate authority may
consider necessary or proper; or
iv. modify the award and pass such directions as may be necessary to
give effect to the modified award; or
v. pass any other order as it may deem fit.
G. OTHERS
33. Is it open to the Banking Ombudsman to reject a complaint at any stage?
Yes. The Banking Ombudsman may reject a complaint at any stage if it appears
to him that a complaint made to him is:
i. frivolous, vexatious, malafide or without any sufficient cause or
ii. that it is not pursued by the complainant with reasonable diligence or
iii. in the opinion of Banking Ombudsman there is no loss or damage or
inconvenience caused to the complainant or
iv. beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of Banking Ombudsman or
v. in the opinion of the Banking Ombudsman the complicated nature of the
complaint requires consideration of elaborate documentary and oral
evidence and the proceedings before him are not appropriate for
adjudication of such complaint.
34. By which scheme the pending complaints filed (before coming into operation of
the New Scheme of 2006) would be governed?
The adjudication of pending complaints and execution of the awards (already
passed before coming into operation of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006),
will continue to be governed by the provisions of the earlier Banking Ombudsman
Schemes, 1995 and 2002.
35. What is the role of the Reserve Bank in relation to the scheme?
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has been formulated by the Reserve Bank of
India to provide an expeditious grievance redressal mechanism to customers of
banks. It provides for an institutional and legal framework for resolution of
complaints relating to banking services and other matters as specified under the
Scheme. The Scheme has been brought into force by way of direction issued by
the Reserve Bank in terms of Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
The Reserve Bank will also appoint its serving senior officials as the Banking
Ombudsman and will also fully fund it for better effectiveness.
36. When was the Banking Ombudsman Scheme introduced?
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme was first introduced in 1995 and was revised
in 2002. Over the past five years, around 36,000 complaints have been dealt by
the Banking Ombudsmen.
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Address and Area of Operation of Banking Ombudsman
Centre Contact details of the Office of
Banking Ombudsman
Area of Operation
Ahmedabad Shri Arnab Roy
C/o Reserve Bank of India
La Gajjar Chambers,
Ashram Road,
Ahmedabad-380 009
Tel.No.079- 26582357, 079-26586718
Fax No.079-26583325
email: bogujarat@rbi.org.in
Gujarat, Union Territories of Dadra
and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu
Bangalore Shri. K.R.Ananda
C/o Reserve Bank of India
10/3/8, Nrupathunga Road
Bangalore-560 001
Tel.No.080-22210771, 080-22275629
Fax No.080-22244047
email: bobangalore@rbi.org.in
Karnataka
Bhopal Shri B.P.Kanungo
C/o Reserve Bank of India
Hoshangabad Road,
Post Box No.32,
Bhopal-462 011
Tel.No.0755-2573772, 0755-2573776
Fax No.0755-2573779
email: bobhopal@rbi.org.in
Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
Bhubaneswar Shri P.K.Jena
C/o Reserve Bank of India
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru Marg
Bhubaneswar-751 001
Tel.No.0674-2396207, 0674-2396008
Fax No.0674-2393906
email: bobhubaneswar@rbi.org.in
Orissa
Chandigarh Smt. Balbir Kaur
C/o Reserve Bank of India
New Office Building
Sector-17, Central Vista
Chandigarh-160 017
Tel.No.0172-2721109, 0172-2721011
Fax No.0172-2721880
email: bochandigarh@rbi.org.in
Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and
Union Territory of Chandigarh
Chennai Smt Harmesh Khanna
C/o Reserve Bank of India,
Fort Glacis,
Chennai 600 001
Tel No.044-25399170, 044-25395964
Fax No.044-25395488
email: bochennai@rbi.org.in
Tamil Nadu, Union Territories of
Pondicherry and Andaman and
Nicobar Islands
Guwahati Shri K.R.Das
C/o Reserve Bank of India
Assam, Arunachal Pradesh,
Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram,
Station Road,
Pan Bazar
Guwahati-781 001
Tel.No.0361-2542556, 0361-2540445
Fax No.0361-2540445
email: boguwahati@rbi.org.in
Nagaland and Tripura
Hyderabad Shri.M.Sebastian
C/o Reserve Bank of India
6-1-56, Secretariat Road
Saifabad,
Hyderabad-500 004
Tel.No.040-23210013, 040-23243970
Fax No.040-23210014
email: bohyderabad@rbi.org.in
Andhra Pradesh
Jaipur Shri P Vijaykumar
C/o Reserve Bank of India,
Ram Bagh Circle,
Tonk Road, Post Box No.12,
Jaipur-302 004
Tel.No.0141-2570357/0141-2570392
Fax No.0141-2562220
email: bojaipur@rbi.org.in
Rajasthan
Kanpur Shri B.K.Bhoi
C/o Reserve Bank of India
M.G. Road, Post Box No.82
Kanpur-208 001
Tel.No.0512-2361191/0512-2310593
Fax No.0512-2362553
email: bokanpur@rbi.org.in
Uttar Pradesh (excluding District of
Ghaziabad) and Uttaranchal
Kolkata Shri C.V.George
C/o Reserve Bank of India
15, Nethaji Subhas Road
Kolkata-700 001
Tel.No.033-22306222/033-22305580
Fax No.033-22305899
email: bokolkata@rbi.org.in
West Bengal and Sikkim
Mumbai Smt. Rashmi Fauzdar
C/o Reserve Bank of India
Garment House,
Ground Floor,
Dr. Annie Besant Road,
Worli, Mumbai-400 018
Tel.No.022-24924607/022-24960893
Fax No.022-24960912
email: bomumbai@rbi.org.in
Maharashtra and Goa
New Delhi Shri H Kulshreshtha
Banking Ombudsman
Reserve Bank of India Building
2nd Floor, 6, Sansad marg
New Delhi – 110001
Tel No. 011-23725219/23710882/23725445
Fax No. 011-23725218
email: bonewdelhi@rbi.org.in
Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir
and Ghaziabad district of Uttar
Pradesh
Patna C/o Reserve Bank of India,
South Gandhi Maidan,
Patna-800 001
Tel.No.0612-2322569/2323734
Fax No.0612-2320407
email: bopatna@rbi.org.in
Bihar and Jharkhand
Trivandrum Smt. Suma Varma
C/o Reserve Bank of India
Bakery Junction
Thiruvananthapuram-695 033
Tel.No.0471-2332723/0471-2329676
Fax No.0471-2321625
email: bothiruvananthapuram@rbi.org.in
Kerala and Union Territory of
Lakshadweep