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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday called for a serious review of the working of the grievance redressal mechanism in banks because of persisting customer complaints.

Das expressed concern over persisting grievances in areas such as mis-selling, lack of transparency in pricing, disproportionate service charges and very high penal rates, while speaking on ‘Excellence in Customer Service in the Changing Paradigm of Financial Services’ at the annual conference of RBI Ombudsmen.

“In a large and vibrant financial system like ours, some level of complaints is understandable. What is of concern is that a large number of complaints pertain to traditional banking. This calls for serious review of the working of the customer service and grievance redress mechanism in the regulated entities. The root cause of persistence of such grievances needs to be analysed and corrective measures undertaken," he said.

The board and the top management of banks play a crucial role and, thus, need to ensure that there is customer centricity in the design of products, the supporting processes, the delivery mechanism of the products and after sales services, Das said.

RBI’s ombudsmen need to ensure lower turnaround times without compromising on the quality of resolution, the governor said. The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a forum created by the regulator for bank customers for resolution of their complaints, he pointed out.

“There needs to be a proper and deep evaluation of the facts and evidence of a case to ensure fair settlement. While we encourage our regulated entities to excel, we too must match their efforts and ensure timely and just resolution," Das said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gopika Gopakumar

Gopika Gopakumar has worked for over 15 years as a banking journalist across print and television media. Her expertise lies in breaking big corporate stories and producing news based TV shows. She was part of the 2013 IMF Journalism Fellowship Program where she covered the Annual & Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. She started her career with CNBC-TV18, where she also produced a news feature show called Indianomics and an award winning show on business stories from South India called Up South. She joined Mint in 2016.
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