At a time when government banks are trying to change their image and handle competition from private sector peers, grievances related to deficiency in customer service, opening of accounts, loan disbursement, ATMs and plastic money have gone up significantly.
The finance ministry has recently issued instructions to all lenders to settle cases in a time-bound manner. The matter has also been taken up with state-owned insurance companies.
The issue of timely redressal mechanism has also been taken up with regulators such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). Besides, in case of delay in settling the issues, action may even be taken against those responsible for the same.
“Banks have also been asked to monitor this area very closely, lax attitude and delay in disposing off the cases would be viewed seriously by the banks,” a senior government official said.
In the current financial year banks have received as many as 7,900 grievances from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) itself.
A large number of grievances are pending with the State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and Central Bank of India. “Most of these cases are pending for over two months,” a source said adding that the issue was even taken up in the recent meeting that finance minister Arun Jaitley held with chiefs of public sector bank.
“We have taken up the issue seriously and a sound mechanism has already been put in place to ensure grievances are handled in the shortest possible time and clear pending cases,” a public sector bank executive told HT.