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Over 4 lakh ombudsman complaints; most on cards, phone/e-banking

There were 60,203 complaints about ATM and debit cards, 40,721 about credit cards and 2,440 against DSAs and recovery agents.

Written by George Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: January 13, 2022 7:20:38 am

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) witnessed a 22.27 per cent rise in the volume of complaints under various ombudsman schemes during April 2020-March 2021, with ATM and debit cards, mobile banking and credit cards accounting for a bulk of the complaints. The volume of complaints stood at 4,04,143 during the period on an annualised basis.

Chandigarh, Kanpur and Delhi got the maximum number of complaints, the RBI said in its Annual Report of the Ombudsman Schemes for the year 2020-21. The major areas of complaints under the schemes pertained to ATM/debit cards, mobile/electronic banking and credit cards, which collectively accounted for 42.74 per cent of the total number of complaints as compared to 44.65 per cent in the previous year, the RBI said. It has changed the reporting period to April-March.

“Complaints relating to credit cards, failure to meet commitments, direct selling agents (DSAs) and recovery agents increased during July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 as against July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 period, with complaints related to DSAs and recovery agents registering a surge of over 60.66 per cent,” the RBI said.

There were 60,203 complaints about ATM and debit cards, 40,721 about credit cards and 2,440 against DSAs and recovery agents.

Within the total complaints, the shares of complaints related to ATM/debit card, mobile/electronic banking and credit card received during July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 stood at 17.40 per cent, 12.98 per cent and 12.36 per cent, respectively. The corresponding percentage of complaints against these grounds during July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 were 21.97 per cent, 13.38 per cent and 9.30 per cent, respectively, the RBI said.

Explained

Major areas reported

Under the various ombudsman schemes, the RBI noted in its report that most complaints pertained to ATM/debit cards, mobile/electronic banking and credit cards. In alignment with the change in the financial year of the RBI from ‘July-June’ to ‘April-March’, the volume of complaints reflect a 22.27 per cent rise on an annualised basis.

RBI data shows that Chandigarh received the maximum complaints (28,019) during July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, accounting for 10.26 per cent of the total complaints, followed by Kanpur (21,168) and New Delhi (18,767), accounting respectively for 7.75 per cent and 6.87 per cent of the total complaints received by the 22 Offices of Banking Ombudsman (OBOs).

Continuing the trend and owing to huge volume of complaints received at the ombudsman offices of Chandigarh and New Delhi, the North zone accounted for the maximum share of complaints (43.10 per cent) in 2020-21, followed by the West zone (24.35 per cent) and the South zone (19.18 per cent). East zone (13.37 per cent) continued having the least share of complaints. In terms of growth of complaints, the West zone registered the highest year-on-year growth at 13.51 per cent, followed by North zone (12.65 per cent) and East zone (9.00 per cent) and South zone (4.73 per cent).

The banking ombudsman scheme accounted for 90.13 per cent of the total complaints (2,73,204) received under the three ombudsman schemes. The number of complaints received against NBFCs and digital transactions stood at 8.89 per cent and 0.98 per cent, respectively, of the total number of complaints.

The overall disposal rate improved to 96.59 per cent from 92.52 per cent in the previous year, despite higher volume of complaints, which can be attributed to the end-to-end digitisation of complaint processing in CMS (Complaint Management System), the central bank said.

Regarding NBFCs, the RBI said the major areas of complaints were non-adherence to Fair Practices Code, non-observance to RBI directions and levy of charges without prior notice, accounting for 75.32 per cent of the complaints as compared to 63.23 per cent in the previous year. The overall disposal rate improved to 96.59 per cent from 92.52 per cent in the previous year, despite higher volume of complaints.

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