New Guideline for banks’ customer service

AT a recent conference of Banking Ombudsman held in RBI, it was decided, among others, that:-

  • Banks should issue tax deduction at source (TDS) certificates duly completed in all respects to the account holders and despatch it to their mailing address.
  • In case of ATM/Internet based banking transactions, in the event of any monetary dispute involving the customer and the bank, the onus should be on the bank to prove the customer’s negligence or mistake. Customer must be compensated for the losses arising out of customers’ non-authorised transactions.
  • Banks must not recover pre-payment charges in floating rate loans.
  • The Reserve Bank/IBA would examine the issues pertaining to monetary compensation for mental harassment suffered by bank customers.
  • To create awareness about the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, the Banking Ombudsmen will annually share with local media, information regarding complaints received and resolved, including important cases and awards given.

RBI Governor Subba Rao said that often, prevention was better than cure. In customer service area too, rendering good customer service was like ‘prevention’ and was better than the ‘cure’ which was the various grievances redressal mechanisms. He flagged various issues relating to banks’ customer service for the consideration of the participants. He asked whether customer service was a criterion in evaluating the performance of a branch level official or did levying of penalty on a bank reflected in any manner on the staff which caused the levy of penalty; do all banks have customer grievances redressal officer and at what level; were the most important terms and conditions (MITC) explained to the bank customers before they signed the documents; and whether the deviation from most important terms and conditions of a banking product transparent. He urged bankers to identify ten action points to further improve their customer service.