It appears that banking ombudsman is losing popularity with customers and banks as a fast and economical banking grievance redressal forum. Rising number of customers and banks are appealing against the decisions of the forum, with the number of such aggrieved parties increasing more than double in the fiscal year 2011-12.
Banking ombudsman was set up by the banking regulator Reserve Bank of India to act as a speedy and inexpensive grievance redressal mechanism for individuals as well as for banks. The system enjoys wide awareness as it allows people to complain at high levels.
The yearly report of the banking ombudsman scheme announced by the central bank shows that about 351 appeals were made against the decisions of the ombudsman last fiscal as against 133 appeals made against its decisions the year before.
During the said year, about 72,889 complaints were registered in 15 offices of banking ombudsman across the country, which is an increase of 2 percent over the previous year's total registered complaints.
About 18.43 complaints were received per branch against foreign banks operating in the country. About 21 percent complaints of the total complaints registered were associated to ATMs, debit cards and credit cards, areas where foreign banks enjoy stronger presence.