Banks told to appoint internal ombudsman

In a move to further beef up the quality of customer service, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised all public sector banks and some private and foreign banks to appoint an internal ombudsman.

  • The internal ombudsman would be designated Chief Customer Service Officer (CCSO).
  • RBI has also made it clear that the CCSO should not have worked in the bank in which he/she is appointed as CCSO.

Why is it required?

The RBI is keen to ensure that there is undivided attention to resolution of customer complaints in banks. Hence, it has suggested the appointment of an internal ombudsman.

Other details:

  • RBI has said that all public sector banks will have to appoint a Chief Customer Service Officer.
  • The private sector and foreign banks which have been told to appoint such officers (or internal ombudsman) are: ICICI Bank Ltd., HDFC Bank Ltd., Axis Bank Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., IndusInd Bank Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank N.A. and HSBC Ltd. These banks have been selected on the basis of their asset size, business-mix, etc

Background:

  • The Reserve Bank introduced the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (BOS) in 1995 to provide an expeditious and inexpensive forum to bank customers for resolution of their complaints relating to certain services rendered by banks.
  • Commercial banks, regional rural banks, and scheduled primary co-operative banks are covered under the Scheme.
  • The Reserve Bank operates the BOS, free of cost, so as to make it accessible to all.

The bank’s internal ombudsman will now be a forum available to bank customers for grievance redressal before they can even approach the Banking Ombudsman.

Sources: The Hindu.

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