Next biggest areas of complaints in 2009-10 were basic banking facilities and problems over loans and advances
Credit card grievances relating to overcharging and issuance of unsolicited cards accounted for the bulk of complaints received by the banking ombudsman in 2009-10.
The banking ombudsman received 18,810 credit card complaints, which constitute nearly a quarter of the total grievances in the year, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). While the volume of complaints is huge, percentagewise it is lower than the 25.5% in the previous year. The number of credit card complaints in 2008-09 was 17,648 and 10,129 in 2007-08.
The RBI launched the banking ombudsman scheme in 2005 to redress grievances of customers. In 2009-10, the total number of complaints received was 79,266, a 15% increase from the total 69,117 complaints received in the previous year.
"A general source of complaints continues to be the difficulty in accessing the credit card issuers and the poor response from the call centres. Simply put, this is an issue of non-transparency and mis-selling," the RBI said.
The type of card-related complaints consists of items like issuance of unsolicited credit cards and recovery of premium charges, charging of annual fee in spite of it being offered as a 'free' card. The ombudsman also received complaints of disputes over wrong billing, abusive calls, excessive charges, wrong debits to account, non-dispensation of money from ATM and some others. Credit card complaints also include issues related to debit cards and ATM cards.
The ombudsman also received complaints relating to failure on commitments made by banks, which include delay in providing banking facilities. At 11,569 complaints, this constitutes the next biggest area of concern (15%). "This points to the lack of sensitivity, transparency. As these complaints mostly relate to basic banking facilities, banks need to address these issues on a priority basis without any demur," the RBI said.
The ombudsman also received 6,612 complaints related to loans and advance, 1,609 complaints against direct selling agents or recovery agents.
All Asian markets are trading in the green after the US markets rose sharply yesterday
The local market is likely to witness a strong opening. The US markets settled with smart gains yesterday, with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at multi-year highs on a surge in manufacturing growth and corporate earnings. The markets that are open in Asia today are trading in the green in early trade on signs of stability in the global economy. The SGX Nifty was up 65.50 points at 5,489.50 compared to its previous close of 5,424.
Yesterday, the market opened trade with decent gains, tracking the global markets. However, it soon lost steam on offloading by institutional investors and slid deep into the red. Despite upbeat economic data, the indices witnessed a free-fall in the morning session. There was no let up in the post-noon session as all the sectoral gauges were in negative territory. The decline resulted in the key benchmarks closing at the day's lows. The Sensex was down 306 points at 18,022 and Nifty 89 points down at 5,417.
Among the key US indices, the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at their highest points June 2008 on a rise manufacturing growth positive earnings reports. The Institute of Supply Management’s factory index rose to 60.8, topping analysts’ forecast and the highest level since May 2004. Readings greater than 50 signal growth. Meanwhile, US auto sales touched around 819,900 vehicles in January, matching the fastest pace in 17 months with a seasonally adjusted 12.6 million vehicle annual rate, according to research firm Autodata Corporation.
On the earnings front, Pfizer and UPS reported better-than-expected earnings resulting in the former gaining 5.5% and UPS rising 4.1%.
The Dow surged 148.23 points (1.25%) to close at 12,040.16. The index closed above the 12,000 level for the first time since June 2008. The S&P 500 gained 21.45 points (1.67%) to 1,307.57. It closed above 1,300 for the first time since August 2008. The Nasdaq added 51.11 points (1.89%) to 2,751.19.
Markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Among the markets that are open, most of them are trading in the green on positive signals from the global front and choosing to ignore the political turmoil in Egypt. Upbeat US auto sales supported Toyota Motor Corporation while Casio Computer Company and Mitsubishi Materials Company rose on higher profit figures.
The Jakarta Composite advanced 1.10%, the KLSE Composite surged 0.79%, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.91% and the Straits Times gained 0.62% in early trade.
Back home, profitability of Indian steel producers may decline by 4%-5% in April-June as prices of coking coal, a key input in steel manufacturing, have gone up by $40-$50 per tonne due to floods in major producing region Queensland, Australia, according to a study by Crisil.
Queensland, which is badly hit by recent floods, accounts for 40%-45% of the world's exports of coking coal. The disruptions in supply due to floods have driven coking coal spot prices to $280-290 per tonne, the study stated.
The BFX would allow users to trade a wide range of multi-asset class instruments through a single exchange environment, which will be internationally accessible to trade, securities, structured products, Shariah-compliant financial instruments and derivatives.
Financial Technologies (FT) Group said it's wholly owned Bahrain Financial Exchange (BFX), the Middle East and North Africa's first ever multi-asset exchange, officially launched its operations on Tuesday. The official launch ceremony was hosted by Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain deputising for Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain.