Banks have managed to check the rise in complaints of customers relating to credit and debit cards. Card-related complaints saw a decline of 15% to 14,492 in 2011-12 from 17,116 in the previous financial year, according to a Reserve Bank of India report released last week.
"Increase in general awareness about usage of cards can be one of the reasons for decline in number of complaints on this ground," said the report titled 'Annual Report of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2011-12'.
"Card related complaints at 21% of total complaints received, constituted the single largest ground of complaints received."
Most of complaints were regarding issue of unsolicited cards, charging of annual fee in spite of being offered as free card, authorisation of loans over phone, wrong billing, non-settlement of insurance claims after the demise of the card holder and excessive charges.
Banking Ombudsmen had received around 18,800 card-related complaints in 2009-10.
"Banks have now become selective in issuing credit cards to customers," said a senior official of public sector bank. "Once we issue a card to a customer we ensure that he is informed about all the charges," he said.
However customer complaints, including all banking services, in Banking Ombudsman offices of RBI increased marginally to 72,889 in the year 2011-12 from 71,274 in the previous financial year.
Banking ombudsmen received 18,300 complaints pertaining to banks' failure to meet commitments and non-observance of fair practices code while 8,700 complaints related to deposit accounts.
Rate of disposal of complaints by banking ombudsmen held steady at 94% in 2011-12.