News : RBI to Austere Customer Care; Says Banks Must Shape Up
May 20, 2014 -- Be it an ATM swallowing up a debit card or extra credit card charges, banks can no longer take customer complaints lightly. They are now being graded based on the quality of services offered to customers by none other than an RBI appointed body.
Banks may soon have to pull up their socks if they want to avoid being named and shamed. Starting next year, the Banking Code and Standard Board of India (BCSBI), a watchdog set up by the RBI will publicly declare the names of all those banks that failed to adhere to the customer service rules prescribed by them. BCSBI says it has already started grading banks based on the quality of their services and hopes that this will force banks to behave better.
AC Mahajan, Chairman, BCSBI says, "Governing council decided monitoring codes for so many years then why not start rating banks. This year we have sent our people to 3000 plus branches at 60 centres to 48 banks. Information which we have received has been now put into a format prepared by leading most rating agency Crisil and the rating has been arrived at."
"10 percent of member banks rated by BCSBI in 2012-13 had good ratings. 52 percent earned above average ratings, 38 percent earned average, below average ratings. These clearly show that a number of banks need to tone up their code implementation", says Deepali Pant Joshi, Executive Director, RBI.
While majority of the complaints in FY13 were related to ATM, debit card transactions; BCSBI say there is a need to streamline the complaint collecting system before grading can be foolproof.
Currently only a few banks capture every complaint, while others make a random selection of complaints, adds Mahajan.
Meanwhile, the regulator is also looking at tightening rules on customer service to be used as a benchmark. The RBI is currently in the process of framing a comprehensive consumer protection regulation that is likely to be announced in the next 6 weeks.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, May 23, 2014