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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

'Banks not sharing info with customers major deficiency'

PTI  Chandigarh, July 15, 2014
First Published: 21:03 IST(15/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:05 IST(15/7/2014)

Banks not sharing information with customers is a major deficiency in better services, Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) said on Wednesday.

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"Information dissemination or sharing of information (with customers) is not given much importance by banks.

Information concerning accounts, terms and conditions of products rate of interest and disclosures which they are to share with customers," BCSBI Chairman A C Mahajan said.

He, however, did not say whether it is public sector or private sector banks which withhold information from customers.

"We have found during customers meet that knowledge about rights among customers is very low and we encourage banks to hold during regular customers meet to address this issue," he said, adding that BCSBI was holding 15-20 customers meet every year.

BCSBI today held a meeting with controlling heads of banks in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh here today to enlighten them about importance of complying with banking codes.

BCSBI, which was set up in 2006, is an independent and autonomous body which evolves banking codes and standards related to customer rights and monitors adherence to those adopted by banks while delivering services to customers.

"Those who are controlling branches they should also gear up and know whether their branches are equipped with trained staff and ensure the code compliance is taking place," he said.

However, BCSBI said it has observed improvement in compliance of banking codes by members banks.

"In 2013, the compliance level was 75 per cent which is an improvement of compliance level of previous year which was more than 60 per cent," Mahajan said.

He further said BCSBI has already made obligatory for bank branches to give a copy of banking codes to every new customer.

Mahajan further said it has also been decided to make rating of individual member banks on code compliance public next year and RBI has given its clearance in this regard.

"Next year onwards, the rating of banks will put in public domain on our website and in newspapers so that public could take informed decision about rated bank," said Mahajan.

Mahajan said the new rating process, through onsite inspection, is expected to start in October or November this year and hopefully in the month of March and April next year, it will be able to come out with rating of banks.

"Rating puts pressure on banks to treat customer better,"

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