What to do if your bank does not listen to your complaint
Last week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked banks to be more responsive in protecting customers from fraudulent transactions. In a notification on customer protection, the apex bank stated the guidelines and timelines for banks to resolve grievances regarding online frauds. Read more about it here: bit.ly/2tPP3r3.
As a customer, if you have any complaint against your bank, the first step is to contact the bank and register a complaint. Grievances such as unauthorised electronic transactions, mis-selling of insurance and mutual fund products, loan and deposit, and mobile banking transactions can be raised at your bank.
But what if you are not satisfied with your bank’s response? In that case, you have two options: you can go to the banking ombudsman or take the bank to court.
If you get an unsatisfactory response from your bank and want to escalate the issue, you can approach the banking ombudsman. It is appointed by the RBI to resolve customers’ complaints regarding banking services. Currently, there are 20 banking ombudsman centres in India. To file a complaint with them, you need to have proof that you have already filed the complaint with your bank. Also, you must reach out to the ombudsman within 1 year of the action taken by your bank. The service is free of charge.
The RBI has suggested a format in which to file the complaints. However, a complaint can be filed with the ombudsman in any format as long as all the relevant information is mentioned. You don’t have to adhere to the RBI’s format.
But, what do you do if you are not satisfied with the ombudsman’s decision as well? Then, you have 45 days to appeal before an appellate authority, which in this case is an RBI deputy governor.
You can also approach a court against the bank. Here too, you need to have proof that you had raised the matter with your bank. If you had approached a banking ombudsman, you need to have the related documents too. Depending on the amount of financial damage, you can file the complaint before a District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, a State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission or the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
When you approach a court, ensure that you have evidence against the bank. The complaint must be clear and precise. You can fight the case with or without a lawyer. And unlike with an ombudsman, a fee is charged here depending on the amount in dispute.