Banks are still lax in complying with rules, rues codes chief

Banks are not complying with banking codes stipulated to provide fair treatment to customers, according to Banking Codes & Standards Board of India (BCSBI) Chief Executive Officer Narayanan Raja.

Briefing reporters, he said, despite codes being in vogue from 2006, most still do not share sufficient information and details with customers leading to deficiency of service rendered. This is particularly rampant at branches level, he said, adding the BCSBI was currently revising the codes and standards of commitment keeping in view changed business milieu. A similar process is also underway with respect to codes and standards set for addressing the needs of MSE sector as well. A working group is currently holding consultations with various stakeholders to come up the revised framework, he added.

While the code of bank’s commitment to customers entails them to provide transparent information and sevices to individual customers with regard to deposits, loans, credit card and other banking services, the commitment to MSEs is aimed at providing easy, speedy and transparent access to banking services for their day-to-day operations and in times of financial difficulty.

The BCSBI, he said, besides conducting impromptu checks on banks also looks into complaints specifically lodged with it and instructs those banks at fault to rectify their anomalies.

According to BCSBI annual report, during the year 2010-11, 573 complaints were received against member banks as compared to 750 complaints in previous year.

Some of systemic issues identified and followed up with concerned banks included providing intelligible particulars in pass book/statement of accounts, indicating clearly in sanction letter and other documents whether the rate of interest for loan is fixed or floating and obtaining acknowledgement from the borrower for the sanction letter, display on bank’s website of payment of compensation for delay in refund of money in respect of failed ATM transactions, streamlining the procedure for upgradation of credit card by obtaining prior consent of primary cardholder and also for issue of add on credit card; discontinuance of use of Direct Selling Agents for issue of credit cards and adhering to KYC norms for add – on cardholders, et al.

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