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Banking ombudsman scope to be widened from Jan 1

The Reserve Bank announced expansion of the scope of banking ombudsman scheme to include customers complaints relating to credit cards and some other new areas.

The revised scheme, to come into effect from January 1, 2006, will also include customers complaints about deficiencies in providing promised services by banks sales agents, levying service charges without prior notice to customers and non-adherence of the fair practices code by banks.

In order to make the scheme effective, Reserve Bank would fully staff and fund it instead of banks, the central bank said in a statement here.

The scheme would be applicable to all commercial banks, regional rural banks and scheduled primary cooperative banks, according to the statement.

Customers would be able to file their complaints in any form, including online, and may appeal to RBI against the awards given by banking ombudsmen.

The new scheme provides a forum to bank customers to seek redressal of their most common complaints against banks, including those related to credit cards, service charges, promises given by the sales agents of banks, and also delays in delivery of bank services, RBI said.

In the revised norms, the customer would now be able to complain about non-payment, inordinate delay in payments or collection of cheques towards bills or remittances by banks.


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