The ombudsman requires customers to give a chance to the bank to resolve the issue first. Therefore, before approaching the ombudsman, first try to resolve it with your bank
The banking ombudsman rejects almost half of the complaints it receives. Between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, it received over 3 lakh complaints against banks, but accepted only 54% of these.
According to the Reserve Bank of India’s Annual Report on different ombudsman schemes, over 80% of complaints were rejected on three grounds. Over 35% of rejected complaints were not represented properly. About 27% of rejections happened as the customer approached the banking ombudsman before resolving the issue with their respective banks. Over 21% of complaints were those which the ombudsman had already dealt with.
Other reasons for rejection were that complaints were outside the territorial jurisdiction of the ombudsman, or were already pending before the court or were referred to other regulatory bodies, or were time-barred.
There are a few things that complainants should be aware of to ensure that their ombudsman doesn’t reject their applications.
The ombudsman requires customers to give a chance to the bank to resolve the issue first. Therefore, before approaching the ombudsman, first try to resolve it with your bank. If you don’t receive a satisfactory answer from the customer care executive, write to the nodal officer.
Only if your complaint remains unresolved approach the ombudsman. It may also happen that you may not get a reply immediately. Give the bank a month’s time to respond. Also, ensure that all your communication with the bank is in writing.
RBI has laid down grounds on which a customer can approach the ombudsman. It’s a comprehensive list. Your complaint must fall within the purview of the list of complaints covered by the ombudsman.
Complainants have to approach the ombudsman within 12 months of receiving a reply from the bank. If the bank has not replied, the customer should approach within 13 months.
The ombudsman will also reject the complaint if the customer had sought relief elsewhere, including court, tribunal or arbitrator or forum.
Don’t approach the banking ombudsman for a third-party product. For example, if a bank representative sells you a health insurance policy and you are unhappy with the policy, you should approach the insurance ombudsman.
Do you have a personal finance query? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and get them answered by industry experts.
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