Customer Service & BCSBI

The Government and the regulator (RBI) have been emphasizing the importance and the need to extend speedy, efficient, fair and courteous customer service in banking industry. In this direction, the following committees were set up:

1975 – Talwar Committee
1990 – Goiporia Committee
2004 – Tarapore Committee
2006 – Working group under chairmanship of Sri N Sadasivan

In addition to the guidelines framed based on the recommendations of the committees, RBI had been giving instructions to banks as and when required. Over the years, the customer service in banks has improved considerably with the introduction of technology based products. Further, the Government of India introduced the concept of Citizens’ Charter at all bank branches with an objective to exercise in setting benchmarks for prompt delivery of banking services, including the pricing thereof. In the year 2010, RBI constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Sri.M.Damodaran to look into the customer service aspects in Banks. The recommendations of the committee are as under:

  • Bank should offer a basic bank account with privileges such as certain number of transactions, cheque facility, ATM/Debit Card etc., without any prescription of minimum balance.
  • The Passbook/Statement of accounts should indicate the account number, name, address and ID of the customer, MICR Code, IFSC Code, Toll free customer care number, Ombudsman contract details, instrument number and payee name on all debit entries and the full details of TDS (Gross Interest credited and TDS debited).
  • Before marking the account as inoperative, the banks must intimate the account holder by SMS. Banks should introduce Uniform Account Opening forms and Account Number Portability across the banks.
  • Banks should take Unique Identification Number (issued under Aadhar project) as KYC compliance for opening of accounts.
  • The term deposit renewal notices should be sent to customers preferably in electronic form. A single Form 15G/H linked to a customer ID across the branches in a bank should be issued.
  • Service charges should be reasonable. No charges are to be levied on Non- Home Branch transactions.
  • The users of electronic bank platforms for making collections may offer small discounts to their customers to favour electronic payments.
  • Cheque Drop Box should provide receipt/acknowledgement along with the image of the cheque.
  • Reason for penal interest on loan accounts, rate of interest charged should be mentioned in Passbook/Statement of Account.
  • Banks must ensure that loan statements are issued to the borrowers periodically giving full details including demand, repayments, interest component and charges.
  • The title deeds should be returned to the customers within a period of 15 days after the loan closure.
  • Bank should provide Most Important Terms and Conditions (MITC) of the product explicitly in Arial font and size 12 for better readability.
  • All home loans should permit a switchover between fixed to floating or viceversa at least once during the loan tenure at an appropriate and reasonable fee. Home loans backed by insurance products, the procedure should be explained upfront to the customers.
  • Banks should provide prioritized service to the senior citizens/physically handicapped persons.
  • Banks should put a system in a place for Automatic updation of the customers to the senior citizen category based on the date of birth.
  • Pensioner may be allowed to submit the annual life certificate at any of the branches of the bank. Bank should make arrangements to disburse pension to sick and disabled pensioners at their door steps.
  • SHG members should not be forced to take insurance products.
  • Banks should ensure that at least one of the staff members in Tribal / North- East areas is conversant with local language.
  • The staff manning Customer Service Departments in banks should receive specialized training so that customer complaints are professionally handled.
  • With regard to “one-man branches” – Banks should place Proper systems for safety of cash and also continuity of services in case of leave etc.
  • In case of frauds in the accounts of the customers, bank is required to credit the amount to their accounts after obtaining due affidavit.
  • Banks should put in place secure systems like Multi-factor Authentication to minimize the fraud instances.
  • Frauds involving cloned cards, unauthorized online transactions, ATM transactions not done by the customers etc., cannot be valid transactions as they are not authorized by the customers. The onus should be on the bank to prove that the customer has done the transaction.
  • Banks to install CCTV at all ATMs. For Debit/Credit cards at POS, PIN based authorization should be made mandatory.
  • Banks should ensure that ECS Mandate Management System is working effectively to comply with the mandate given by the customer.
  • For transaction deficiencies, there should be in-built mechanism to pay compensation to the customers.
  • Bank should provide for online registration of grievance in its website.