On January 12, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Annual Report of the Ombudsman Schemes for 2020-21, which has been prepared for the 9-month period, i.e., July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, in alignment with the change in the Financial Year of RBI from ‘July – June’ to ‘April – March’ with effect from July 1, 2020.
- The Annual Report covers the activities under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 (BOS), the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018 (OSNBFC) and the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019 (OSDT).
- The volume of complaints received under all the 3 Ombudsman Schemes increased by27 percent on an annualized basis and stood at 3,03,107.
- The volume of complaints received under all the 3 Ombudsman Schemes increased by 22.27 percent on an annualized basis (in 2021) and stood at 4,04,143.
- The overall disposal rate under the 3 Schemes has improved to 96.59 percent from July 2020 to March 2021 as compared to 92.52 percent from July 2019 to June 2020.
Note – Office of Banking Ombudsman (OBO), Chandigarh received the maximum number of complaints followed by Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and New Delhi.
Report over the 3 Ombudsman Schemes:
The BOS accounted for 90.13 percent of total complaints and the complaints received under OSNBFC and OSDT stood at 8.89 percent and 0.98 percent respectively, of the total number of complaints.
i.The complaints received at BOS from July 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, stood at 2,73,204 as compared to 3,08,630 complaints from July 2019 to June 2020.
ii.Issues related to ATM (Automated Teller Machine)/ debit cards, mobile/ electronic banking (e-banking), credit cards, failure to meet commitments, and non-observance of fair practices code were the top-5 grounds of complaints received at the OBO during July 2020-March 2021.
- The BOS was notified by RBI in 1995 under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
- Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), Scheduled Primary Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs), Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Small Finance Banks (SFBs) and Payment Banks (PBs) are covered under the Scheme.
- It is administered by RBI through 22 OBOs covering all states and union territories.
i.The complaints received at OSNBFCs stood at 26,957 during July 1, 2020-March 31, 2021, increasing from 19,432 complaints (an increase of 38.72 percent) received during July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.
- The OSNBFC was notified by RBI under Section 45L of the RBI Act, 1934 on February 23, 2018.
- The Scheme is applicable to (a) Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) which are authorised to accept deposits (NBFCs-D); and (b) Non-deposit taking NBFCs (NBFCs-ND) having customer interface, with an asset size of Rs 100 crore and above.
i.The number of complaints received at the OSDT increased from 2,481 during July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020, to 2,946 during July 1, 2020-March 31, 2021.
ii.Fund transfers/Unified Payments Interface (UPI)/BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System)/Bharat QR Code, mobile/electronic fund transfer, and non-reversal of debit due to wrong beneficiary transfer by System Participant were the top 3 grounds of the complaint under OSDT.
- The OSDT was notified by RBI under Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 on January 31, 2019.
- The Scheme is applicable to Non-bank System Participants1 (issuers of Pre-paid Payment Instruments (PPIs)) regulated by the RBI.
i.In November 2021 Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS) to integrate and replace the current 3 ombudsman schemes (BOS, OSNBFC, and OSDT).
ii.The scheme has adopted a ‘One Nation-One Ombudsman’ approach, for all customers of RBI-regulated entities. It will ensure that all customers have one platform, one email and one address to lodge, track, and monitor their complaints anytime and from anywhere.
Recent Related News:
On November 12, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched 2 customer-centric initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) such as the RBI Retail Direct (RBI-RD) scheme & the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment– April 1, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar