Banks to Introduce Uniform Grievance Redress System in 3 Months

The Finance Minister asked Public Sector Banks (PSUs) to establish a uniform grievance redress system within three months in order to resolve all the customer complaints within 21 days. This is to ensure that customers should not go around the banks to resolve their complaints.

According to the Finance Minister, the redress system should be a tier-3 system and has to be uniform in all the banks throughout the country. He suggested that all bank officers must improve the internal system in order to retain customers and improve competitiveness.

Under the system, the primary responsibility for resolving customer grievances will be on the bank branch manager. Every branch of a bank has been given 10 days to resolve the customer grievance. If the matter is still unresolved, then it will be passed to the regional level branch, for which 5 days would be given to resolve the grievance. Even if the issue is not resolved, then it will be passed to head-office which would get 6 days to resolve it. On a whole, the total number of days should not be more than 21 days to resolve the customer complaint.

The Finance Minister said that bank customers should be provided multiple channels/ways to redress their grievances. They must be allowed to complain their grievances through letter/fax/email/complaint book/toll-free telephone numbers/call-centres/mobile (voice and SMS)/bank website.

These complaints would be lodged in a common digital system where each complaint would generate complaint numbers for future reference. The ministry wants banks to acknowledge complaints within a stipulated time and the complainant should receive a reply in writing or by email should be given to the complainant, clearly stating the action taken. The Minister finally announced a zero tolerance policy towards the mis-behaviour by the employees with their customers, where the bank administration has to take corrective action against the employee.

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