The increasing number of complaints from customers regarding improper services being offered by banks has led the RBI to announce that banks need to cater well to the needs of the small customers and also devote time on these issues on particular at board meetings so as to improvise the level of service being offered to customers.
"The issue of treating customers fairly is assuming critical importance as experience shows that consumers' interests are often not accorded full protection. Customer service in the banking industry is increasingly becoming important as banks are privileged institutions and banking is a special public utility service," the apex bank said in the Monetary Policy Statement 2010-11.
"Though there exists a tiered mechanism for customer grievance redressal in banks, its efficacy in terms of attending to customer complaints is far from satisfactory," it added.
The RBI has also decided to set up a separate committee that would be looking into banking services being provided to retail and small customers as well as pensioners.
Along with providing services to customers, the committee would also work on grievance redressal mechanism operative in banks. It would act upon quickening the pace of solution to complaints.
The Banking Ombudsman's offices as well as the RBI have been receiving regular complaints from customers that excessive interest rates are being charged from them on some loans and advances.
Although banks have the liberty to choose the type of service that would be offered to a customer and also allocate the cost for the same depending upon his credit worthiness of the customer but the RBI is making efforts an effective system for customer complaints.
RBI has taken many initiatives over the past few years for benefit of the customer such as introduction of comprehensive display boards, banking facilities for the visually challenged, rationalisation of service charges on collection of outstation cheques and free use of ATMs.