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Credit card complaints top list of grievances: RBI ombudsman

RBI
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Credit card grievances relating to overcharging and issuance of unsolicited cards accounted for bulk of the complaints received by the banking ombudsman during 2009-10.

The banking ombudsman has received 18,810 credit card complaints, which accounted for 24 per cent of the total grievances received during 2009-10, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.

The number of complaints has been increasing year-on-year basis. In 2008-09, the ombudsman received 17,648 complaints, while it stood at 10,129 in 2007-08.

The RBI had launched the banking ombudsman scheme in 2005 to redress grievances of customers.

"A general source of these complaints continues to be the difficulty in accessing the credit card issuers and the poor response from the call centres. Simply put, this is the issue of non-transparency and mis-selling," the RBI said.

The types of card-related complaints consists of items like issuance of unsolicited credit cards and recovery of premium charges, charging of annual fee in spite of being offered as 'free' card, it said.

The ombudsman also received for disputes over wrong billing, abusive calls, excessive charges, wrong debits to account, non-dispensation of money from ATM, among others.

"Complaints relating to credit cards (comprising 24 per cent of the total complaints in 2009-10 as compared to 25.5 per cent in 2008-09) show a declining trend this year," the RBI said.

The credit card complaints also include complaints related to debit cards and ATM cards also.

The ombudsman has also received complaints relating to failure on commitments made by banks, which include delay in providing banking facilities.

The ombudsman received 11,569 complaints for failure to meeting commitments during 2009-10, which was 15 per cent of the total complaints received.

"This points to the lack of sensitivity, transparency... As these complaints mostly relate to basic banking facilities, banks need to address these issues on priority basis without any demur," the RBI said.

Further, it has also received 6,612 complaints related to loans and advance, 1,609 complaints against direct selling agents or recovery agents.

In total during 2009-10, the ombudsman has received 79,266 complaints, higher than 69,117 received in the previous year.

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