Banking
Ombudsman: Careful with ATM Cards

ATM cards issued by the public sector banks are highly susceptible to fraud as they are made with inferior technology, according to the banking ombudsman of Andhra Pradesh. “The cyber crime wing of the police department has been receiving 4-5 complaints every day involving impersonation and most of these cases pertain to the cards issued by the public sector banks,” N Krishna Mohan, banking ombudsman and chief general manager (CGM) of RBI, said.

According to him, starting 1 November 2013, RBI has made it mandatory for all banks to implement a second factor authentication, in which the banks need to provide another password, unique to each transaction, and to replace the magnetic strip that stores data of the customer with an electronic chip-based card. This is to protect the customer from the card-related frauds, which generally happen when the information on the card, including the account number and the password, are stolen. About 18% of complaints reported at the Ombudsman’s office are of this nature, the CGM said.
 

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EPFO Grievance Redressal System Revamped

Subscribers to Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) who have a complaint can now directly dial the EPFO office—not just in their region but the head office in Delhi—and the aggrieved member may end up sharing his woes with none other than the Chief Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFO) himself. CPFO, KK Jalan, has declared grievance redress as top priority work in the Organisation; along with other top officials in the EPFO, he is now taking out time to respond to callers on specific grievances. Between them, they settled 100 of the 183 grievances the head office received in July, he says. About 20,668 grievances were disposed off in July 2013 at various regional offices compared to 13,414—the average for the three preceding months. Grievances are also being directly monitored from the head office of EPFO. The Internet-enabled EPF Internet grievance management system has been reactivated and more that 96% of the grievances registered through the portal have been addressed.
 

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Mutual funds: FMPs Galore

Aiming to attract risk-averse investors seeking short-term returns, mutual fund companies have lined up at least 26 fixed maturity plans (FMPs) and have filed draft documents with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The average return from FMPs has been in the range of 10%-11% over the past few years. Due to higher subscription amounts required, they are largely targeted at corporate as well as institutional investors. FMPs invest mainly in specified duration instruments like bank certificates of deposit (CDs) and commercial paper (CP) and usually have tenures of a few months or a year.

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