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Consumer complaints at Offices of Banking Ombudsman rise 20% in FY19: RBI

Mis-selling and ATM-related complaints have gone up

Nidhi Rai  |  Mumbai 

RBI, reserve bank of india

A Reserve Bank of India data suggests that the complaint raised to the bank regulator have increased by 20 per cent in 2018-2019. The complaints received at 21 Offices of Banking Ombudsman (OBOs) rose by 32,311, taking the total to 1,95,901 complaints in 2018-19 against 1,63,590 previous year, recording a year on year increase of 19.75 per cent. Of these, 72.19 per cent were received electronically, through the online portal and by emails as against 63.61 per cent previous year. In the Annual Report of Ombudsman Schemes for 2018-19, RBI said, "The disposal rate (rate at which the complaints are resolved) for 2018-19 was 94.03 per cent as against 96.46 per cent in 2017-18. Reduction in disposal rate is largely due to rise in volume of complaints with resource remaining the same." Complaints on ATM and debit card issues increased from 15.08 per cent in 2017-18 to 18.65 per cent in 2018-19. The number of complaints pertaining to ‘mis-selling’ have gone up from 579 complaints in 2017-18 to 1,115 in 2018-19, an increase of 92.57 per cent.

Non-observance of fair practices code accounted for maximum number of complaints. However, its percentage share came down from 22.10 per cent in 2017-18 to 19.17 per cent in 2018-19. The number of complaints resolved by agreement i.e., through intervention of OBOs, mediation and conciliation, etc. rose from 65.82 per cent during 2017-18 to 70.40 per cent in 2018-19. The average cost of handling a complaint came down from Rs 3,504 in 2017-18 to Rs 3,145 in 2018-19. Similarly, the RBI has notified the NBFC-O Scheme under Section 45L of the RBI Act, 1934 on February 23, 2018 which focusses on complaints pertaining to Non-Banking Financial Companies(NBFCs). The number of complaints received at NBFC-Os rose from 675 in four months operation during 2017-18 to 3,991 in 2018-19. Non-adherence to fair practices code constituted 40.44 per cent of complaints received, followed by non-observance of RBI directions (17.21 per cent), levy of charges without notice (12.63 per cent) and lack of transparency in contract / loan agreement (9.17 per cent). However the disposal rate of NBFC-Os stood at 95.41 per cent in 2017-18 and 99.10 per cent in 2018-19.

Data at a glance

  • 195,901 complaints were filed in 2018-19 (163,590 in 2017-18)
  • 72.19% complaints were received electronically, as against 63.61% in the previous year
  • 94.03% disposal rate in 2018-19, as against 96.46% in the previous year
  • 18.65% regarding ATM and debit card issues in 2018-19 (it was 15.08% in 2017-18)
  • Rs 3,145 average cost of handling complaints in 2018-19 (Rs 3,504 in 2017-18)

First Published: Tue, December 17 2019. 21:53 IST
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