The Reserve Bank of India had released an advertisement on November 10, 2021, announcing a new scheme called ‘Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme’. The scheme has been initiated as a result of the February policy review. The Prime Minister of India launched the scheme virtually on November 12, 2021, in the presence of the Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman.
Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS)
The Reserve Bank’s Integrated Ombudsman Scheme was launched with the aim of strengthening the ‘grievance redressal mechanism’. It is based on the theme of ‘One Nation, One Ombudsman’. It particularly focuses on resolving such cases where the customers’ complaints or grievances have not been resolved by the concerned banks, NBFCs or payment system operators within the period of 30 days. This scheme is basically a result of integrating the three already existing Ombudsman Schemes as follows:
- The Banking Ombudsman Scheme (BOS) – 1995
- The Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs (OS-NBFC) – 2018
- The Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions (OSDT) – 2019
The scheme will expedite the process of redressal of grievances. The complaints can be filed through electronic mode, physical mode, or online mode. The online portal provides an easily accessible single point of reference for registering ‘cost-free’ complaints. A centralized receipt and processing centre has been set up at the RBI office located in Chandigarh. This has been done with respect to the initial processing of physical and online complaints. By introducing the online platform, RBI has also done away with the jurisdictional limitation that existed till now of having to apply to only a particular RBI office in a particular location.
|The Executive Director in charge of the Consumer Education and Protection Department of RBI will be the final appellate authority under the scheme.|
Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme: Key Features
- With the view of integrating and streamlining the process, RBI has come up with the ‘One nation – one Ombudsman’ theme. This implies one portal, one email and one address.
- A single place for the customers to send their feedback, file complaints, track status of their account and submit documents.
- It aims to address the complaints to the customers’ satisfaction by providing them with ‘one’ common platform where they can file or register their grievances and expect a speedy resolution.
- This will be a unified scheme to enable customers to file complaints against entities that are regulated by RBI.
- The RB-IOS also includes Non-Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks with a deposit size of ₹50 crore and above.
- RBI will also provide a multi-lingual toll-free number (14448) to assist the customers to file any complaints or to obtain any information on their ‘grievance redressal’. This support will be provided in English, Hindi & 8 regional languages of the customers. RBI will expand & add on to more regional languages gradually.
- The entity which is not able to satisfy the customer complaints within the stipulated time and the Ombudsman issues a statement against it, will not be allowed to make any appeal on its part.
The Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS) is focused on bringing transparency in the system and taking the unresolved customer complaints seriously and bringing them up to speed.
RBI’s Integrated Ombudsman Scheme: How to Reach Out?
The customers can file their complaints online on https://cms.rbi.org.in. The grievances/complaints can also be filed through the dedicated e-mail or sent in physical mode to the ‘Centralised Receipt and Processing Centre’ set up at the Reserve Bank of India.
Banking Ombudsman: Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is a Banking Ombudsman?
A: The Banking Ombudsman is a senior officer who is appointed by the Reserve Bank of India to look into the customer complaints filed against any banks or other entities regulated by the RBI.
2. What is the Banking Ombudsman Scheme?
A: The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has been introduced under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by RBI with effect from 1995.
3. Which banks are covered under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme?
A: All the Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, and Scheduled Primary Co-operative Banks come under the purview of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.
RBI has introduced the Reserve Bank Integrated Ombudsman Scheme along with the Retail Direct Scheme with the view of promoting ‘inclusiveness’. The main feature of these innovative schemes is that they are ‘customer-centric’ and look out to benefit the customers or specifically the retail investors. The government hopes to develop some confidence in the customers with respect to such financial schemes and investments.
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