Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor S S Mundra told banks they should get affirmation from a customer before passing on a service, instead of waiting for a negative confirmation to come from the customer for a service that the banks keep on bundling silently. Recently, this had become a major issue with one bank as the private lender started charging a customer for a service he never asked for. The excuse of the bank was that the customer did not explicitly ask the bank to stop the service.
Mundra, who demitted office on Monday, was addressing bankers at the annual banking ombudsman conference, held on July 25.
The deputy governor also broached the issue of the rising trend of loss of cheques from drop boxes and the lack of alacrity shown by banks
in redressing such complaints. Banks
should also work towards account number portability to enhance competition and improve customer service, a release on the central bank’s website said, citing Mundra.
suggested compensating the customer immediately. To this end, banks
should explore the possibility of creating a common account to compensate the customer immediately from the pool, without waiting for recovery of the amount from insurers.
He also rapped banks
for their practice of waiting for a negative response from a customer on value-added services passed on to a customer without seeking consent. Instead of waiting for “negative confirmation” from customers in respect of legal agreements that often have several fine prints, banks
should obtain “positive confirmations” from the customers that they have read and understood the terms and conditions of the product and service, Mundra
told the banks.