The percentage of customer complaints reaching the Banking Ombudsman of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from Gujarat has seen a growth of 93 per cent in four years between 2014 to 2018. Out of these, a majority of complaints are related to banks levying charges without prior notice, non-adherence to fair practices code and those connected to mobile and electronic banking, RBI officials said Thursday.
According to figures from RBI, the number of complaints received from Gujarat grew from 4,965 in 2014-15 to 9,600 in 2017-18. These, as per the figures, accounted for about 7 per cent of the total complaints received nationally during this period. The average cost incurred for handling a complaint by the banking ombudsman in Gujarat during 2016-17 was about Rs 4,621.
While the figures for 2017-18 are yet to be made public, RBI officials said the total number of complaints handled by the Banking Ombudsman at an all-India level is expected to rise by over 25 per cent, compared to the previous year.
“Though financial literacy is high in Gujarat, the number of complaints coming from the state is low,” an RBI official said under conditions of anonymity.
In 2017-18, complaints related to non-adherence to fair practices code as adopted by individual banks tops the complaint category table from Gujarat. Complaints from this category for 27.4 per cent of the total complaints received by the Banking Ombudsman from the state, which is also higher than the all-India average of 22.1 per cent.
Similarly, complaints about banks levying service charges without prior notice to the customer also stand at 11.1 per cent. The percentage of complaints from this category in the state is significantly higher than the average of five per cent that exists country-wide. Apart from this, complaints related to failure on commitments (11.7 per cent), recovery agents (0.4 per cent), para-banking (0.5 per cent) is also more than the national averages.
In the ever-widening mobile banking and electronic banking space, the percentage of complaints reaching the banking ombudsman from Gujarat is 6.3 per cent, which is significantly higher than the all-India average of 5.2 per cent.
According to RBI officials, this is one category of complaints which was introduced only in July 2017 and it will continue to rise in the current fiscal of 2018-19.
Even at a national level, non-observance of fair practice code and complaints related to ATM and debit cards occupy a higher share of the pie of complaints at 22 per cent and 15 per cent respectively for the year 2017-18