Policy For Grievance Redressal

Last Updated on: 11/04/2017

Policy For Grievance Redressal

1. Introduction

In the present scenario of competitive banking excellence customer service is the most important tool for sustained business growth.   Customer complaints are part of the business life of any corporate entity.  This is more so for banks because banks are service organisations.  As a service organisation, customer service and customer satisfaction should be the prime concern of any Bank.  The bank believes that providing prompt and efficient service is essential not only to attract new customers, but also to retain existing ones.  This policy document aims at minimizing instances of customer complaints and grievances through proper service delivery and review mechanism and to ensure prompt redressal of customer complaints and grievances.  This review mechanism should help in identifying shortcomings in product features and service delivery.  Customer dissatisfaction would spoil bank’s name and image.  The bank’s policy on grievance redressal follows the under noted principles.        
  • Customers be treated fairly at all times
  • Complaints raised by customer are dealt with courtesy and on time
  • Customers are fully informed of avenues to escalate  their complaints/grievances within the organisation and their rights to alternative remedy,  if they are  not fully satisfied with the response of the bank to their complaints.
  • Banks will treat all complaints efficiently and fairly as they can damage the bank’s reputations and business if handled otherwise.
  • The bank employees must work in good faith and without prejudice to the interest of the customer.
 In order to make bank’s redressal mechanism more meaningful and effective, a structured system needs to be built up towards such end. 

 Such system would ensure that the redressal sought is just and fair. Also it will be ensured that such redressal  is permissible within the given frame-work of rules and regulation.  The policy document would be made available at all branches.  The employees should be made aware about the complaint handling process, through Internal training process, issuance of circulars from time to time, by conducting Staff meeting and Customers’  Meeting etc.

1.1.The customer complaint arises due to : 
a) The attitudinal aspects in dealing with customers. 

b) Inadequacy of the functions/arrangements made available to the customers or gaps in standards of services expected and actual services rendered. 
The customer is having full right to register his complaint if he is not satisfied with the services provided by the bank.  He can give his complaint in writing, orally or over telephone.  If customer’s complaint is not resolved within given time or if he is not satisfied with the solution provided by the bank, he can approach Banking Ombudsman with his complaint or other legal avenues available for grievance redressal.

2. Internal machinery to handle Customer complaints/grievances

2.1.Customer Service Committee of the Board     

This sub-committee of the Board would be responsible for formulation of Comprehensive Deposit Policy incorporating the issues such as the treatment of death of a depositor for operations of his account, the product approval process and the annual survey of depositor satisfaction and the triennial audit of such service.  The committee would also examine any other issues having a bearing on the quality of customer service rendered.   This committee would also review the functioning of  Standing Committee on Customer Service.  
A memorandum will be placed before the Committee on newly-introduced loan products and the changes made in the loan products , which have a bearing of the quality of customer service, for their information.

2.2.Standing Committee on Customer Service  

The Standing Committee on Customer Service will be chaired by the Managing Director/Executive Director of the Bank. Besides two to three Senior Executives of the Bank,the Committee would also have two to three eminent non-executives drawn from the public as members. The committee would have the following functions.   . 
  • Evaluate feed-back on quality of customer service received from various quarters.  The committee would also review comments/feed-back on customer service and implementation of commitments in the Code of Bank’s Commitments to Customers received from BCSBI. 
  • The Committee would be responsible to ensure that all regulatory instructions regarding customer service are followed by the Bank.  Towards this, the committee would obtain necessary feed-back from  Regional Heads/Functional Heads.
  • The Committee also would consider unresolved complaints / grievances referred to it by functional heads responsible for redressal and offer their advice.
  • The committee would submit report on its performance to the Customer Service Committee of the Board at quarterly intervals.  

2.3. Nodal Officer and other designated officials to handle complaints and grievance: 

A Nodal Officer of the rank of Deputy General Manager will be responsible for the implementation of customer service and complaint handling for the entire Bank, under overall guidance by a General Manager. 
A Customer Relationship Officer, an official in II line (Assistant General Manager or Chief Manager) at Regional Offices will handle complaints/grievances in respect of branches falling under their control.  
A  Quality Assurance Officer at all branches, headed by an Assistant General Manager, will handle complaints/grievances in that branch.
3. Mandatory Display requirements:

All the branches of the Bank will display following boards 

  • Appropriate arrangements for receiving complaints and suggestions. 
  • The name, address and the contact number of the Nodal Officer at Central Office/Regional Office.
  • Contact details of the Banking Ombudsman of the area. 
  • Toll-Free Telephone number for lodging complaints over telephone . 
  • Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers. 
  • The name, address and the contact number of Code Compliance Officer.

4. Resolution of Grievances: 
Branch Manager is responsible for the resolution of complaints/grievances in respect of customer’s service by the branch. The complaints relating to the non-compliance of Code of Commitment will also be resolved as laid down under the policy.    He/she would be responsible for ensuring closure of all complaints received at the branches.  It is his foremost duty to see that the complaint should be resolved completely to the customer’s satisfaction and if the customer is not satisfied, then he should be provided with alternate avenues to escalate the issue.  If the branch manager feels that it is not possible at his level to solve the problem he can refer the case to Regional office for guidance.  Similarly, if Regional office finds that they are not able to solve the problem such cases may be referred to the Nodal officer at Central Office.  

In case the grievance is not redressed within 30 days, the customer  is free to lodge his/her complaint to Regional manager to which Branch is attached and or to its Head office at Chennai. If there is no response from the Branch Head/Regional Head/Nodal officer for Customer Service Department Central Office within next 30 days the customer is free to refer his/her complaint to Banking Ombudsman.

4.1. Time Frame   

Bank will accept all complaints.  An acknowledgement will be sent to the complainant within 2 days from the date of receipt. 
Complaints are being analysed  in the right perspective because, they indirectly reveal a weak spot in the working of the bank. Accordingly specific time schedule is evolved (as indicated below) for handling complaints and disposing them. 

Eventhough Code of Commitment permits redressal within 6 weeks, we have in our policy stipulated specific time-frame for resolution of the complaints as indicated below:  

Time-Schedule for Resolving the Complaint:

Complaints due to Received From Period for Redressal

1. Deficiency in normal banking service

Directly from public

30 days from the date of receipt

Government of India/ Reserve Bank of India

10 days from the date of receipt

2. Deficiency in normal banking service, which may result in monetary loss to the customers, subject to policy guidelines as per Compensation Policy.

Directly from public

Normally within 30 days from the date of receipt.In the cases requiring detailed investigation by branch or external agency, the settlement period may go beyond 30 days.

Government of India/ Reserve Bank of India

Normally within 10 days from the date of receipt.In the cases requiring detailed investigation by branch or external agency, the settlement period may go beyond 10 days.

3. Non-granting of credit facilities

Directly from public

30 days from the date of receipt

Government of India/ Reserve Bank of India

10 days from the date of receipt

4. Staff attitude

Directly from public

30 days from the date of receipt

Government of India/ Reserve Bank of India

10 days from the date of receipt

5. Other matters

Directly from Public or through GOI/RBI

No time limit stipulated. However, the complaint will be acknowledged as indicated above.

Complaints through Banking Ombudsman:

Branches will reply to the complaints referred to them by Banking Ombudsman, as per the norms stipulated by Banking Ombudsman. The redressal of the complaint will be on the basis of decision/award given by Banking Ombudsman. Decision to prefer appeal against the award by Banking Ombudsman will be taken on case to case basis.

If decided to honour the award, it will be implemented within the time frame as stipulated by Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006. 

Closure of Complaints:

1. A complaint will be closed only if the grievance is redressed. 

2. If no deficiency in service is found , the complaint will be closed and the customer will be advised the reasons for not treating the matter as grievance. 
3. A complaint regarding Housing Loan and Personal Loan will be treated as closed if, in the assessment of Branch/Regional Office, the application does not merit consideration. The complainant will be advised accordingly. 

4. A complaint regarding Educational Loan will be closed only if,
  • the loan is sanctioned
  • the loan is declined to the complainant in writing by the branch stating clearly the reasons thereof. If the reasons stated by the Branch is not satisfactory, it will be informed to reconsider the application as per the norms laid down by the Bank.
  • the complainant informs Bank in writing that he is not in need of the loan.

5.Interaction with customers  

The Bank recognises that customer’s expectation/ requirement/ grievances can be better appreciated through personal interaction with customers by bank’s staff.    Structured customer meets , will give a message to the customers that the bank cares for them and values their feed backs/suggestions for improvement in customer service.    All branches, therefore, will hold Customers’ Meet once in a half-year  (twice in a financial year)   Efforts will be taken to help the customers appreciate banking services better, as lack of awareness among customers about them is one of the causative factors for customer dissatisfaction.     The feed back received from the customers will be a valuable in put for revising the products and services to meet their requirement.

6.Sensitising operating staff on handling complaints:  

Efforts will be made to train staff for handling complaints.   In all the training programmes, a session on “Customer Service and Handling Customers’ Grievances”  will be included.   Staff members will be sensitised on customer grievance matters so that they in turn, handle customers’ complaints effectively and win their confidence.    Nodal Officers at Central Office/Regional Offices will ensure that internal machinery for handling complaints/grievances operates smoothly and efficiently at all levels