The annual policy announcements from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) not only determines whether interest rates on loans and deposits go up or down, but also tries to ensure banks treat their customers fairly. After having warned banks earlier about rising interest rates some of them charge and wielding the stick on the issue of recovery agents, in last week’s policy it asked banks to be transparent in the charges they levy on various services. The RBI is also in the process of collecting details of various charges levied by banks for public dissemination.
“Almost all the banks have details of service charges they levy displayed on their website and schedule of charges are also available at all bank branches. There is little room to complain on transparency,” said a person handling complaints at the banking ombudsmen office in Mumbai.
However, the RBI feels there is room for improvement even after banks have responded to its earlier calls for dissemination of customer-centric informational in local languages and setting up board-level customer service committees in banks. “…analysis of the types, frequency and trends of complaints reaching the RBI and the offices of the Banking Ombudsmen suggest that the essence of the Code (code of commitment) still needs to percolate down to the level of the customer service delivery interface in banks,” says the RBI’s annual policy statement.