For complaints regarding Banking / NBFC / Digital Payment issues

The above different ombudsman schemes were introduced independently of each other and incorporated different causes for complaints.

Bimal BhutaUpdated: Monday, July 11, 2022, 09:40 AM IST
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Resolution of customer complaint in banking, non-bank finance companies (NBFC) and digital transactions have now been integrated creating a ‘One nation, One ombudsman’ mechanism. The Integrated Ombudsman System 2021 integrates three existing ombudsman systems: Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 Non-bank Financial Institution (NBFC) Ombudsman Scheme, 2018 Digital Transaction Ombudsman Scheme, 2019.

The above different ombudsman schemes were introduced independently of each other and incorporated different causes for complaints. The resolution outcomes were not always uniform and there was a need for a consolidated grievance redressal mechanism in a systematic & timely manner.

The Government of India, therefore, introduced the ‘Integrated Ombudsman Scheme’ as a redressal mechanism for resolving customer grievances in relation to services provided by entities regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in an expeditious and cost-effective manner under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949), Section 45L of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2of 1934) and Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (51 of 2007).

The above integrated scheme seeks to foster consumer protection/ rights & boost confidence in the financial system. The complainant will no longer need to determine under which scheme he/she should file a complaint with the ombudsman while filing a complaint under the integrated scheme.

The integrated scheme provides for cost-free redress of complaints for 'deficiency' in services rendered by entities regulated by RBI, if not resolved to customers' satisfaction or not replied to within 30 days. Complaints can be filed for deficiency in service, with a clearly identified list of exclusions. “Deficiency in service” means a shortcoming or an inadequacy in any financial service, which the Regulated Entity is required to provide statutorily or otherwise, which may or may not result in financial loss or damage to the customer.

There is no limit on the amount in a dispute that can be brought before the Ombudsman for which the Ombudsman can pass an Award. However, for any consequential loss suffered by the complainant, the Ombudsman shall have the power to provide compensation up to Rs 20 lakh, in addition to, up to Rs 1 lakh for the loss of the complainant’s time, expenses incurred and for harassment / mental anguish suffered by the complainant.

The RBI-regulated entity against which the complaint has been made will have to file a reply within 15 days, failing which the ombudsman can pass an ex-parte order or an award and the entity will have no right to appeal against the order.

As per the scheme, in case the complaint is not resolved through facilitation, such action as may be considered appropriate, including a meeting of the complainant with the officials of the regulated entity, for resolution of the complaint by conciliation or mediation can also be initiated.

How to register complaint under One Nation, One Ombudsman mechanism : The ‘One-Nation Ombudsman’ is based on one portal, one email, and one address for the customers to lodge their complaints.

Website : https:// cms.rbi.org.in

E-mail: CRPC@rbi.org.in

Complaints by post: Centralised Receipt and Processing Centre Reserve Bank of India, 4th Floor, Sector 17, Chandigarh – 160017

Toll-free number: 14448

The writer is a Vile Parle based social activist.

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