Here's another area of banking operations where banks continue to violate the regulator's instructions and cause considerable harassment and hardship to consumers.
I refer to failed ATM transactions, where the ATM does not dispense any money, but the money is debited from the account of the consumer.
In its circular of July 17, 2009, issued to all banks , the RBI made three important points:
A) It is mandatory for banks to reimburse customers the amount wrongfully debited due to failed ATM transactions within 12 working days from the date of receipt of complaint.
B) For any failure to re-credit the amount, the bank shall pay compensation of Rs. 100 per day to the aggrieved customer. This compensation shall be credited to the customer's account automatically without any claim from the customer, on the same day when the bank affords the credit for the failed ATM transaction.
C) Non-adherence to this directive shall attract penalty as prescribed under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007.
Frankly, I feel that in this age of computerisation, a maximum of two days should be more than adequate for banks to check the facts and reimburse the amount to the customer. So, the RBI has been lenient with the banks. But the irony is that banks are not sticking to even this time limit.
Worse, they are exploiting the consumers' lack of knowledge of these instructions and are not paying the compensation amount.
Sunil Fogaat: I made three transactions of Rs 10,000 each from an ATM, but received only Rs 10,000 in one transaction. The other two failed. However, while checking the balance in my account, I noticed that the bank had debited Rs 20,000 from my account, showing it as an ATM withdrawal. I raised this issue with a bank official and he promised to look into the issue and credit the amount wrongly debited from my account within seen days. Then after ten days, they said it will take another 12 days to resolve the issue , I wrote to their grievance cell and got the same reply. What should I do?
Answer: Bring to the notice of the bank, the RBI circular of July 17 that I have quoted above. You can also see the circular in full on the RBI website. (www.rbi.org.in- click on the icon ‘For Common Person' and then go to ‘useful information') . The bank has to not only credit the amount along with SB rate of interest for those twelve days, but also pay you compensation for every day of delay beyond that, at Rs 100 per day.
If the bank fails to comply, complain to the RBI. If there is any further problem, you can also approach the Banking Ombudsman.
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