Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021
Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021
The Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 was launched on November 12, 2021, in virtual mode by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The key objective of this scheme is to further improve the grievance redress mechanism for resolving customer complaints against entities such as banks, NBFCs, and payment service operators regulated by the RBI. The Integrated Ombudsman Scheme shall come into force from November 12, 2021.
Integrated Ombudsman Scheme
The Reserve Bank of India integrates the following three existing Ombudsman schemes into the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 to make the alternate dispute redress mechanism simpler and more responsive to the customers.
- The Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006,
- The Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018;
- The Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019
Ombudsman for the Scheme
Ombudsman is an appellate body where customers can escalate complaints if the financial institution fails to address the complaint within 30 days. Even when customers are not satisfied with the resolution offered or explanation given by the financial institution they can approach the ombudsman.
The Executive Director in charge of the Consumer Education and Protection Department of RBI would be the Appellate Authority under the Scheme.
Salient Features of the Scheme
The salient features of the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme is as follows:
- The central theme of the scheme is based on ‘One Nation-One Ombudsman’
- To offer ease of operation to handle the customer complaint a Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre (CRPC) has been set up for centralized handling of all complaint receipts and initial processing. The Scheme has done away with the jurisdiction of each ombudsman office.
- In addition to integrating the three existing schemes, the Scheme also includes under its ambit Non-Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks with deposit size of Rs 50 crore and above.
- To get the financial grievances addressed, the customers will no longer have to chase different entities regulated by RBI; they will now have a single point of reference to file complaints, submit documents, track the status of the complaints and receive feedback. It will have one portal, one email, and one address for the customers to lodge their complaints.
- A multi-lingual toll-free number will provide all relevant information on grievance redress and assistance for filing complaints.
- The responsibility of representing the Regulated Entity and furnishing information in respect of complaints filed by customers against the Regulated Entity would be that of the Principal Nodal Officer in the rank of a General Manager in a Public Sector Bank or equivalent.
- The Regulated Entity will not have the right to appeal in cases where an Award is issued by the ombudsman against it for not furnishing satisfactory and timely information/documents.
Entities Covered under the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme
The Integrated Ombudsman Scheme covers the following regulated entities:
- All Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Scheduled Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks and Non-Scheduled Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks with deposits size of Rupees 50 crore and above as on the date of the audited balance sheet of the previous financial year;
- All Non-Banking Financial Companies (excluding Housing Finance Companies) which are authorized to accept deposits; or have customer interface, with an assets size of Rupees 100 crore and above as on the date of the audited balance sheet of the previous financial year;
- All System Participants as defined under the Scheme.
Prescribed Time to file a complaint
One can file a complaint before the Ombudsman if the reply is not received from the regulated entity within one month after the bank concerned has received one’s complaint, or the bank rejects the complaint, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the reply given by the bank
Procedure to file the complaint with the ombudsman
The procedure to file the complaint under the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme is as follows:
Complaints can continue to be filed online on the Complaints Management System. From the home page, click on the file complaint option, the link will redirect to the new page.
- On the new page, Type the Code Shown (Case Sensitive) and click on the next page.
- Furnish the details of the Name of the complainant and mobile number. By clicking on the get OTP option, an OTP will be sent to the mobile number.
- On submitting the complaint, the Banking Ombudsman will call for records from the Bank and will initiate hearings to conclude. Provide the following details in the application:
- Name and address of the complainant
- The name and address of the branch or office of the bank against which the complaint is made, facts giving rise to the complaint supported by documents
- The nature and extent of the loss caused to the complainant
- The relief sought from the Banking Ombudsman
- Declaration about the compliance with conditions which are required to be complied with by the complainant under Clause 9(3) of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme
Complaints can also be filed through the dedicated e-mail or sent in physical mode to the ‘Centralised Receipt and Processing Centre’ set up at Reserve Bank of India, 4th Floor, Sector 17, Chandigarh – 160017 in the following format.CURRENTACCOUNTS8D0BAC9CED0240EAA1D3259B4DABAF0B
Additionally, a Contact Centre with a toll-free number – 14448 (9:30 am to 5:15 pm) – is also being operationalized in Hindi, English, and in eight regional languages to begin with and will be expanded to cover other Indian languages in due course. The Contact Centre will provide information/clarifications regarding the alternate grievance redress mechanism of RBI and guide complainants in the filing of a complaint.
After receiving the complaints, The Banking Ombudsman endeavors to promote, through conciliation or mediation, a settlement of the complaint by agreement between the complainant and the bank named in the complaint.
If the terms of settlement (offered by the bank) are acceptable to one in full and final settlement of one’s complaint, the Banking Ombudsman will pass an order as per the terms of settlement which becomes binding on the bank and the complainant.
For further details about Banking Ombudsman click here.
Post by Renu Suresh
Renu is experience content writer specialised in compliances and company rules.