Damodaran Committee: Banks should reduce charges, use SMS, simplify account opening form

RBI panel on bank customer services describes several improvements that can improve banking processes

The much-awaited report on bank customer services by a Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee has made several proposals like simplifying account opening forms, lowering charges for services and using SMS and email to communicate with customers that could go a long way to help customers.

These are in addition to a host of major recommendations on home loan rates, facilities for senior citizens and pensioners, education loans and the involvement of bank boards to strengthen customer services.

Moneylife has consistently campaigned for improvement in banking services for customers and pushed hard for the timely publication of the report by the special committee which was headed by M Damodaran, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

The committee was set up over a year ago, and it submitted its report in the first week of July, only after the Karnataka High Court threatened to summon the RBI governor to explain the delay in the completion of the work.

Describing various initiatives, the report says banks should use SMS and e-mail to inform customers in case the account breaches the minimum balance and the charges applicable for not maintaining the balance. It says that penal charges should be in proportion to the shortfall of balance.

It has also proposed uniform account opening forms, as customers relocate often these days and the procedure followed by banks and the format for opening accounts differ from bank to bank causing inconvenience.

The committee has recommended increasing the ceiling of insurance cover on bank deposits from Rs1 lakh currently to Rs5 lakh.

On 'No Frills Accounts', the committee says the existing guidelines for opening these accounts require to be simplified to enable rapid fnancial inclusion.

About demand drafts, for which customers have to pay sizeable amounts even for a DD of small value, the committee recommended that banks should consider having a tear-away draft of definite denomination, or make electronic transfer of draft amount and issue a tear-away receipt which would reduce the time and cost for the user and the bank. "In the mean time, there could be pre-paid instruments of pre-determined value available to customers at a reasonable price."

The committee also recommended that receipt/acknowledgement should be provided on the cheque drop box along with the image of the cheque, as such facility offers convenience for banks (besides cost saving). The banks do not consider the advantages derived using the process whenever  there is a dispute with the customer.

It also suggested that "the users (utilities, airlines, railways, etc) of electronic bank platforms for making collections may offer small discounts to their customers to favour electronic payments. This would result in substantial savings to them in cash management."

The committee has recommended that the Indian Banks' Association consider a toll-free Common Call Centre number (like Dial 100) for all banks. A customer would ring that number and thereafter get diverted to the bank concerned.

Addressing the growing complaints of customers relating to credit defaults, the committee said banks should be extra careful while reporting defaults. "Banks should be doubly careful while reporting a borrower as defaulter to the Credit Information Bureau. Banks should ensure that any representation from the customer in this matter is processed expeditiously."

The committee in its report stated that "exchange facilities for soiled/torn notes is a right of every citizen using such facilities and RBI, through its agents, should ensure that no holder of sovereign currency note is turned away at a bank counter when exchange facility is desired, irrespective of whether the person tendering the note is a customer or not."

The panel also recommended educating masses in the usage of technology in banking through the media and financial inclusion through branch expansions in the North-East.


SEBI activates web-based complaints redress system

The SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES), as the new system is called, would act as centralised database of all complaints and facilitate online movement of complaints to the concerned intermediaries

Mumbai: In a bid to better streamline the database, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has operationalised a centralised web-based complaints redress system where all investor complaints would be processed, reports PTI.

"SEBI has commenced processing of investor complaints in a centralised web-based complaints redress system-SCORES," it said in a circular.

The SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES), as the new system is called, would act as centralised database of all complaints and facilitate online movement of complaints to the concerned intermediaries.

Besides, online upload of Action Taken Reports (ATRs) by the concerned entities, investors can also find out about the status of pending complaints made by them.

"Accordingly, henceforth all complaints shall be forwarded electronically through SCORES only," it said, adding that from now onwards submission of physical ATRs will not be accepted for complaints lodged in SCORES.

The market regulator would also send a daily alert on pending complaints to concerned compliance officers.


Speak Asia COO Tarak Bajpai, four others to remain in police custody till 12th August

Police raid office, said to belong to the MLM company, in suburban Mumbai; recover data of about 24 lakh people related to the company

The Esplanade Court in Mumbai has extended the police custody of Tarak Bajpai, chief operating officer of Speak Asia online Pte Ltd, and four others who were arrested last week on charges of fraud.

According to our sources, the police today raided an office in Walecha Chambers, Andheri, and found important data like names and other details, in the electronic form. It contains records of about 24 lakh people associated with Speak Asia, they said.

However, the multi-level marketing (MLM) company has been providing different figures on the number of panellist registered with it. During the court proceedings on the arrests, Speak Asia's counsel has said the company has 14 lakh panellists. This is lower than the figure of 19 lakh panellists that the company's chief executive Manoj Kumar Sharma had mentioned at a press conference on 16th May.

While the EOW is looking out for Mr Sharma and Haren Kaur, chairperson of Speak Asia, there are indications that the police may arrest some more persons associated with the multi-crore fraud.

Many agents of Speak Asia are said to be filing complaints against the company. According to information, a number of people from across the country are also coming forward to file complaints against Speak Asia at the offices of the Economic Offences Wing of the police.

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tyagi naidu

6 years ago

I want to know the final decision, we are going to get refundable or not



In Reply to tyagi naidu 6 years ago

NO, unless you register a Police complaint.

tyagi Naidu

In Reply to kris 6 years ago

Ohh, Is there any benefited if i lodged complaint.
Already lots of FIR has been stuck in my city police station of earlier two-three companies.. I heard no body get his/her refund value. So, Speak Asia also gone forever then i think no body get even a single penny... We should forget to creating chaos... We can recover our losses for other sources.
Thanks for your suggestion & cooperation.

Kishore N

6 years ago


Asst. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes likely to be arrested in Nano Excel Fraud case. Latest reports inidcates that he is the 11th accused in the case. He allegedly accepted a bribe of 1.5 crores from Nano Excel. This was revealed by Patrick Thomas who is now in the custody of Kerala Police. A lawyer and a Christian Priest are also under the scanner for their alleged role in the above case.

Yesterday Thrissur police arrested one Chandran Nair who was the leader of Nano Excel.



In Reply to Kishore N 6 years ago

Thank you kishore for the nano excel network marketing fraud case update.


In Reply to Sreedhar 6 years ago

One more arrested in Nano Excel case

Kishore N

6 years ago

Reserve bank of India

Fabricated Certificate of Registration - M/s Forex Achievements - Press release


6 years ago


Kerala - No more God's own country !!

The New Indian Express Article:

Kerala is now Frauds’ Own Country

Written by Shri. George Abraham


............Social scientists who have studied this phenomenon point to several factors such as the desire to get rich with little effort in a short while, the breakdown of the old family systems and the growth of nuclear families, the rise of individualism which respects none, the decline of the hold of religion and the lack of the right leadership in political, social and religious spheres, government encouragement of alcoholism and political patronage of anti-social elements. The fact that fake companies wind up immediately after there is a change in government in the state is a pointer to an unholy nexus........



6 years ago

Before raising or talking about any issue please do some research...

I accept Speak Asia had entered Indian market with a scheme which no one can believe and some can ever digest...because I'm the one among who opposed it blindly when one of my friends suggested me about Speak Asia..

But I understood what Speak Asia is really about and how it wanna expand its business....diversify its operations to benefit its panelists the so called the family members of Speak Asia...

Trust me friends till there is no evidence that Speak Asia has cheated or defaulted except few complaints filed for a reason that they didn't receive money back(and every one knows cash requests are delayed because the company is in the process of establishing its operation in India legally so that it protects the customers interest in future) ...and blindly every one believes the articles published by media (news papers....n websites like this)..

If you don't know anything please try to listen...understand but never try to argue that you are right....even if you are right...

And try to publish full news rather than biased and incomplete news....



In Reply to Seshu 6 years ago

Here is some research....
1. If nobody believes and digest Speak Asia scheme, then why bring it in the first place. You dont eat stones because you cant digest it, right?
2. You can expand the business anywhere you want but not in India anymore. People have become wise now and will not fall for your get easy income fraud.
3. A company does not believe in the legal and administration system of a country and violets all norms and rules. Does this not fall under cheating? If you think everythink published by media is not true and people shold not believe in it, then what about the ads published by SAOL? Are these ads also false?
4. What is your definition of Full news? If someone unearths your wrongdoing, then that is biased news and if someone just praises you then its good? come on...grow up. All media cant be biased against unless there is something seriously wrong with your money swindling machine, SAOL.


6 years ago

I am sorry. now I realize that speak Asia is a fraud company.


6 years ago

Police chief urges to be vigilant against money chain frauds


6 years ago

Thrissur Rural Police chief cautions people:

Thrissur Rural Police Chief Mr. Dinesh Kumar Behra cautioned people against Money chain frauds. BIZAARE, TYCOON, NANO EXCEL, UNIPAY2U, JAPAN LIFE INDIA, BIGWAY are some of the fraud companies. He advised people that if anybody comes to know about any money chain companies, he may immediately inform the Police.

(Mathrubhumi news paper report)


6 years ago




In Reply to HARISHBJ 6 years ago

Speak Asia is a money chain company. Speak Asia must immediately wind up their business, pay back the amount received from investors and leave the country.


In Reply to Kris 6 years ago

Mr. Krish...whats wrong with you...I accept there are MLM companies which cheated people...but there is a difference between MLM and speakasia...try to understand it...

I hope you are aware of online deals like SNAPDEAL, MYDALA, VOUGEMAGNET etc...n hope you are aware that if u refer a friend to join the site they'll pay some 500 rs for referring a friend...that doesn't mean they wanna cheat or they wanna runaway...

its to increase its customer base and further increase the sales...

The same thing happened with Speak Asia...
With out customer base no company can rely on the surveys reports...
First Speak Asia tried to expand their customer base...and no one is ready to join n waste their time giving feed back about a product leaving their busy Speak Asia is paying a part that is received from the clients to its panelists..

when the customer base is increasing it started planning to diversify its operations bringing in online shopping and few other features...
Still it tried to support the customers..the common masses to increase their earnings and increase their standard of living...

But the most unfortunate thing is there is more opposition from people like you....rather thank understanding and helping in rectifying faults in their business model....
Try to encourage the change in the systems rather than opposing...

A Raja

In Reply to seshu 6 years ago

Could tell me which Indian or MNC has that kind of market research budget ?

Going by the proposed payout - SA was at least should have been paying 20L * 500Rs per week. I.e. 100Cr (~ $25mn) per week. Which company would pay $25mn per week for survey to SA ?


In Reply to seshu 6 years ago

Seshu....When the hell you would grow mentally? Online deal sites neither offer any money for referrence nor they restrict you from leaving or de-registrating it. They do not need to provide "Historical EXIT option" as its already present by default. And moreover, all these companies are registered, have offices in India and necessary permissions from the autorities to conduct this businee unlike SPeak Asia, which have nothing to show.


6 years ago

One Speak Asian fraud yesterday made some false comments that Tarak was released on bail.

When can we expect Haren's arrest?

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