FAQs on the Banking Ombudsman Scheme
1. What is the Banking Ombudsman Scheme?
The Banking Ombudsman Scheme enables an expeditious and inexpensive forum to bank customers for resolution of complaints relating to certain services rendered by banks. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is introduced under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by RBI with effect from 1995.
2. Who is a Banking Ombudsman?
The Banking Ombudsman is a senior official appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to redress customer complaints against deficiency in certain banking services.
3. How many Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed and where are they located?
As on date, fifteen Banking Ombudsmen have been appointed with their offices located mostly in state capitals. The addresses and contact details of the Banking Ombudsman offices have been provided in the annex.
4. Which are the banks covered under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006?
All Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks are covered under the Scheme.
5. What are the grounds of complaints?
The Banking Ombudsman can receive and consider any complaint relating to the following deficiency in banking services (including internet banking):
A customer can also lodge a complaint on the following grounds of deficiency in service with respect to loans and advances
6. When can one file a complaint?
One can file a complaint before the Banking Ombudsman if the reply is not received from the bank within a period of one month after the bank concerned has received one s representation, or the bank rejects the complaint, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the reply given by the bank.
7. When will one s complaint not be considered by the Ombudsman ?
One s complaint will not be considered if:
a. One has not approached his bank for redressal of his grievance first.
b. One has not made the complaint within one year from the date one has received the reply of the bank or if no reply is received if it is more than one year and one month from the date of representation to the bank.
c. The subject matter of the complaint is pending for disposal / has already been dealt with at any other forum like court of law, consumer court etc.
d. Frivolous or vexatious.
e. The institution complained against is not covered under the scheme.
f. The subject matter of the complaint is not within the ambit of the Banking Ombudsman.
g. If the complaint is for the same subject matter that was settled through the office of the Banking Ombudsman in any previous proceedings.
8. What is the procedure for filing the complaint before the Banking Ombudsman?
One can file a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman simply by writing on a plain paper. One can also file it online (at “click here to go to Banking Ombudsman scheme” or by sending an email to the Banking Ombudsman. There is a form along with details of the scheme in our website.However, it is not necessary to use this format.
9. Where can one lodge his/her complaint?
One may lodge his/ her complaint at the office of the Banking Ombudsman under whose jurisdiction, the bank branch complained against is situated.
Address and area of operation of the banking ombudsmen are provided in the annex.
10.Can a complaint be filed by one s authorized representative?
Yes. The complainant can be filed by one s authorized representative (other than an advocate).
11. Is there any cost involved in filing complaints with Banking Ombudsman?
No. The Banking Ombudsman does not charge any fee for filing and resolving customers’ complaints.
12. Is there any limit on the amount of compensation as specified in an award?
The amount, if any, to be paid by the bank to the complainant by way of compensation for any loss suffered by the complainant is limited to the amount arising directly out of the act or omission of the bank or Rs 10 lakhs, whichever is lower.
13. Can compensation be claimed for mental agony and harassment?
The Banking Ombudsman may award compensation not exceeding Rs 1 lakh to the complainant only in the case of complaints relating to credit card operations for mental agony and harassment. The Banking Ombudsman will take into account the loss of the complainant s time, expenses incurred by the complainant, harassment and mental anguish suffered by the complainant while passing such award.
14. What details are required in the application?
The complaint should have the 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, if any, the nature and extent of the loss caused to the complainant, the relief sought from the Banking Ombudsman and a declaration about the compliance of conditions which are required to be complied with by the complainant.
15. What happens after a complaint is received by the Banking Ombudsman?
The Banking Ombudsman endeavours to promote, through conciliation or mediation, a settlement of the complaint by agreement between the complaint and the bank named in the complaint.
16. Can the Banking Ombudsman reject a complaint at any stage?
Yes. The Banking Ombudsman may reject a complaint at any stage if it appears to him that a complaint made to him is:
17. What happens if the complaint is not settled by agreement?
If a complaint is not settled by an agreement within a period of one month, the Banking Ombudsman proceeds further to pass an award. Before passing an award, the Banking Ombudsman provides reasonable opportunity to the complainant and the bank, to present their case.
18.Is there any further recourse available if one rejects the Banking Ombudsman’s decision?
If one is not satisfied with the decision passed by the Banking Ombudsman, one can approach the appellate authority against the Banking Ombudsmen’s decision. Appellate Authority is vested with a Deputy Governor of the RBI.
19. Is there any time limit for filing an appeal?
If one is aggrieved by the decision, one may, within 30 days of the date of receipt of the award, appeal against the award before the appellate authority. The appellate authority may, if he/ she is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient cause for not making an application for appeal within time, also allow a further period not exceeding 30 days.
20. How does the appellate authority deal with the appeal?
The appellate authority may