The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday launched the Ombudsman Scheme for non-banking financial companies (NBSFCs) for redressal of complaints against NBFCs registered with the RBI. The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by non-banking financial companies covered under the scheme, the RBI said. The offices of the NBFC Ombudsmen will function at four metro centres — Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi — and will handle complaints of customers in the respective zones.
To begin with, the scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs. Based on the experience gained, the RBI would extend the scheme to cover NBFCs having asset size of Rs 100 crore and above with customer interface. “The scheme provides for an Appellate mechanism under which the complainant/ NBFC has the option to appeal against the decision of the Ombudsman before the Appellate Authority,” it said.
“The Reserve Bank may appoint one or more of its officers in the rank of not less than General Manager to be known as Ombudsman to carry out the functions. The appointment of Ombudsman may be made for a period not exceeding three years at a time,” the Reserve Bank of India said.
According to the RBI, it should be the obligation of the non-banking financial company concerned to implement the settlement arrived with the complainant or the Award passed by the Ombudsman when it becomes final and send a report in this regard to the Reserve Bank within 15 days of the award becoming final. “In the event of non-implementation of settlement or the Award, the complainant may represent to the RBI and the RBI may initiate such action under the provisions of RBI Act, 1934 as it deems fit,” the RBI said.