Banking Ombudsman Scheme: Here is how to file your complaint against your Bank
Every consumer must be aware of the Banking ombudsman as it is the platform where a consumer can lodge a complaint regarding their banking issues. When a bank does not respond to the consumer regarding their issues then they can get help from this scheme which is set up by the RBI for the consumers.
Now let’s discuss in detail this scheme and how you can file your complaint against your Bank through this scheme.
What is Banking Ombudsman Scheme
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a grievance redressal scheme implemented by RBI for the resolution of complaints related to certain services rendered by banks.
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is introduced under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by RBI with effect from 1995. Currently, there are three schemes namely Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006 (As amended upto July 1, 2017) the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018; and The Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019.
Who is the Banking Ombudsman?
Banking Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by RBI to resolve customer complaints against the shortcomings in stipulated banking services covered under the grounds of complaint specified under Clause 8 of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006.
As of date, twenty-two Banking Ombudsman have been appointed with their offices located mostly in state capitals.
Which are the banks covered under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme?
All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Foreign Banks operating the business in India, Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks, NBFCs and Non-Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks with a deposit size of ₹50 crore and above are covered under the Scheme.
Apart from above specified Banks, this scheme also covers the following:
- All Non-Banking Financial Companies (excluding Housing Finance Companies) that either authorised to accept deposits or have a customer interface, with an assets size of Rs 100 crore and above as of the previous financial year;
- all System Participants as defined under the Scheme.
What are the grounds on which one can raise a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman?
As per the notification issued by the RBI under Integrated Ombudsman Scheme 2021, It will no longer be necessary for a complainant to identify under which scheme he/she should file a complaint with the Ombudsman. A complaint can be raised if it is not falling within the list of exclusions as defined in the scheme.
List of the Exclusions
- commercial judgement/decision of a Regulated Entity;
- a dispute between a vendor and a Regulated Entity relating to an outsourcing contract;
- a grievance not addressed to the Ombudsman directly;
- general grievances against Management or Executives of a Regulated Entity;
- a dispute in which action is initiated by a Regulated Entity in compliance with the orders of a statutory or law-enforcing authority;
- a service not within the regulatory purview of the Reserve Bank;
- a dispute between Regulated Entities;
- a dispute involving the employee-employer relationship of a Regulated Entity;
- a dispute for which a remedy has been provided in Section 18 of the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005; and
- a dispute pertaining to customers of a Regulated Entity not included under the Scheme.
Therefore, the RBI has made it easy that your complaints would no longer be rejected simply on account of being “not covered under the grounds listed in the scheme”.
Things you should be aware of before making a complaint
- Before making a complaint under the Scheme, made sure that You had a written complaint to the Regulated Entity concerned and –
(i) the complaint was rejected wholly or partly by the Regulated Entity and the
complainant is not satisfied with the reply, or the complainant had not received
any reply within 30 days after the Regulated Entity received the complaint;
(ii) the complaint is made to the Ombudsman within one year after the
complainant has received the reply from the Regulated Entity to the
complaint or, where no reply is received, within one year and 30 days from
the date of the complaint.
- the complaint is not in respect of the same cause of action which is already-
(i) pending before an Ombudsman or settled or dealt with on merits, by an Ombudsman, whether or not received from the same complainant or along with one or more complainants, or one or more of the parties concerned;
(ii) pending before any Court, Tribunal Arbitrator or any other Forum or Authority; or, settled or dealt with on merits, by any Court, Tribunal or Arbitrator or any other Forum or Authority, whether or not received from the same complainant or along with one or more of the complainants/parties concerned;
- You have to be sure that the complaint is not abusive or frivolous or vexatious in nature;
- Ensure that the complaint to the Regulated Entity was made before the expiry of the period of limitation prescribed under the Limitation Act, 1963, for such claims;
- Ensure that the complainant provides complete information as specified in the Scheme;
- Make sure the complaint is lodged by the complainant personally or through an authorised representative other than an advocate unless the advocate is the aggrieved person.
Here “Regulated Entity” means a bank or a Non-Banking Financial Company, or a System Participant or a Credit Information Company as defined in the Scheme, or any other entity as may be specified by the Reserve Bank from time to time; to the extent not excluded under the Scheme;
How to file the complaint with the Banking Ombudsman Scheme?
You can file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman simply by writing on plain paper. You can also do this online at https://cms.rbi.org.in or by sending an email to the Banking Ombudsman at CRPC@rbi.org.in. There is a form along with details of the scheme on the website. A customer may lodge his/ her complaint at the office of the Banking Ombudsman under whose jurisdiction the bank branch complained against is situated.
Complaints regarding credit cards and other types of services with centralised operations, complaints may be filed before the Banking Ombudsman within whose territorial jurisdiction the billing address of the customer is located. (Click here for address and area of operation of the Banking Ombudsman)
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a valuable resource for consumers to resolve disputes with their banks. If you have a complaint against your bank, it’s important to know your rights and the steps to take to file a complaint through the scheme. Remember to keep records of all correspondence and documentation related to your complaint. This will be helpful in making your case to the ombudsman.
Can I file a complaint against a foreign bank operating in India?
Yes, the Banking Ombudsman Scheme applies to foreign banks operating in India as well. Hence, you can file complaints against foreign banks also.
Are there any fees associated with filing a complaint?
No, the Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a free service provided by the Reserve Bank of India.
What kind of compensation can I expect if my complaint is resolved in my favour?
The compensation awarded by the ombudsman can include reimbursement of charges/fees, payment of interest, and/or compensation for mental agony and harassment.