Prime Minister Modi has given the country a new Integrated Ombudsman Scheme of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI’s Integrated Ombudsman Scheme aims to further improve the grievance redressal system of banks or banking services. This will enable better resolution of customer complaints against entities under the regulation of the RBI such as banks, NBFCs, payment service operators. So, it becomes important for you to know about it.
What is Integrated Ombudsman Scheme?
The central theme of this scheme is based on the concept of ‘One Nation-One Ombudsman’. Under this scheme, there will be a portal, an e-mail and an office address where customers can file their complaints against banks, NBFCs etc. Customers can submit their complaints, submit documents, check the status of their complaints-documents and give suggestions at one place. In simple words, the customer will have a single reference point to register complaints, submit documents, track the status of their complaints and get feedback. People can complain to a centralized ombudsman of any bank or financial institution located across the country, regulated by RBI.
Merged the 3 existing schemes
The Integrated Ombudsman Scheme has consolidated the existing three Ombudsman Schemes of RBI, viz., Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006, Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies; and Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019. Non-scheduled primary co-operative banks with deposits of Rs 50 crore and above also come under the purview of this Integrated Ombudsman Scheme.
What’s new in this Integrated Ombudsman Scheme?
- Now the complainant will no longer need to identify under which scheme he should file a complaint with the Ombudsman.
- Complaints will no longer be dismissed merely for being “not covered under the grounds listed in the scheme”.
- The scheme has abolished the jurisdiction of each ombudsman office. A Centralized Receipts & Processing Center has been set up at Reserve Bank of India, Chandigarh for receipt and early processing of physical and email complaints in any language.
- The responsibility of representing the regulated entity and furnishing information in respect of complaints lodged by customers against the regulated entity shall rest with the Principal Nodal Officer in the Public Sector Bank in the rank of General Manager or his equivalent.
- The Regulated Entity shall not have the right to appeal in cases where the Ombudsman has issued an award against it for not furnishing the information/documents in a satisfactory and timely manner.
- The Executive Director in-charge of Consumer Education and Protection Department of RBI will be the appellate authority under the scheme.
When to a file complaint here?
A customer can make a complaint only if he has earlier made a complaint in writing to the service providing entity regulated by RBI such as Banks, NBFCs etc and his complaint has been rejected partially or wholly or if a satisfactory reply is not received or within 30 days.
The customer can make a complaint under the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme within 1 year of the receipt of the reply from the regulated entity. In case of non-receipt of reply from the regulated entity, the complaint can be made to the Ombudsman within one year and 30 days from the date of making the complaint.
How to file a Complaint under this?
- Complaint can be registered in physical mode to the Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre notified by RBI. If registering a complaint in physical form, it has to be signed by the complainant or his authorized representative. The complaint form filled with required details along with the required documents can be sent to ‘Centralized Receipt and Processing Center’ set up at ‘Reserve Bank of India, 4th Floor, Sector 17, Chandigarh – 160017’.
- One can file his Complaint online at https://cms.rbi.org.in.
- Complaints can be lodged electronically through e-mail by sending ane-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.