Reserve Bank of India's guidelines on conduct of recovery agents seems to be fruitless. There has been a recent rise in the number of complaints coming to the office of Banking Ombudsman as well as the Government regarding forceful recovery of outstanding loan amount by agents, mainly of private sector banks.
RBI guidelines already mandate all banks on their code of conduct in this regard. "Training of the recovery agents is key and in many cases the process has not been followed," a government official said.
Amongst the banks against whom complaints have been filed are major lenders ICICI and HDFC Bank.
According to a senior official of a private sector lender, the banks have moved towards more aggressive methods of loan recovery after the setback received during the global financial slowdown.
"Banks and credit card issuers have been following a strict regiment and from the bank standpoint it is justifiable to a large extent. Non payment of outstanding cannot be promoted as a culture," a banking executive said.
The office of banking ombudsman has said that they have received as many as 120 complaints in this regard in the year 2009-10. The number was meager prior to that.