The number of complaints against banks increased by 7.3 % in the 12 months to June 2011 in Chandigarh region, with maximum grievance against State Bank of India (SBI) Group, Banking Ombudsman said on Wednesday.
As many as 3,599 complaints were registered with Banking Ombudsman (BO) of Chandigarh during July 2010 - June 2011 period.
Chandigarh region comprise Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, parts of Haryana and Chandigarh.
Non-credit of pension in time to customers' accounts turned out to be the main grudge against banks, BO (Chandigarh region) J Tashi told reporters.
As many as 32.5 % of the total complaints were against SBI and its associate banks, while 32.4 % were against other public sector banks. The rest related to private and foreign banks, Tashi added. SBI Group is the largest lender in the country.
Bank customers seemed to be frustrated over non-credit of pension by banks in a time-bound manner, as 82 % rise (488 complaints) was seen in this type of complaint.
"In many cases, we even ordered payment of penal interest (bank rate plus 2 % delay in payment) to bank customers for not getting pension at right time," said Tashi.
The number of complaints regarding cash withdrawal through fraudulent means from ATMs also saw a significant jump. It increased 35 % to 385 during July-June 2011, the report said.
The Ombudsman even ordered banks to pay entire sum of money lost through 'cloning of ATM cards' in 26 cases.
"Wherever a customer lost his money through cloning of cards, we asked the concerned bank to pay back the full amount to customer. We have even asked for the compliance of the order," he asserted.
Last year, amount running into several lakhs were reported to be withdrawn from ATM's of SBI in Chandigarh through cloning of ATM cards, raising a question over the safety of hard-earned money of a bank customer.
Banking Ombudsman disposed of 93 % of total complaints, Tashi added.
The bulk of complaints were received from customers living in urban areas, while 66.9 % of complaints received from customers living in Punjab.
Notably, number of complaints regarding credit card reduced by 9.3 % to 706 against 778 received in 2009-10, he said.
Banking Ombudsman Scheme, an alternate disputes resolution mechanism appointed by the RBI, deals with deficiency in the services by the bank and 27 services are part of the scheme.