State run lenders, led by Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank are putting in place a centralised, online complaint mechanism which tracks complaints from customers on a real time basis. The system automatically escalates unresolved complaints ensuring quick redressal of your banking issues
Nationalised banks in India are rapidly putting in place a Standardized Public Grievances Redressal System (SPGRS) which allows bank customers and others to file complaints online, with an automatic tracking mechanism and escalation capability. This mechanism is being introduced by banks in accordance with the guidelines from the ministry of finance. The purpose of such a system is to bring in uniform customer centricity in the provision of banking services and to effectively deal with such matters within the bank. Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank have been among the first to implement this system. In Bank of Baroda’s case a detailed presentation of the new system was made to its standing committee on customer services on 24th May. The bank also plans to introduce a simple, tick-box based complaint mechanism thought its ATM machines, which allows customers to register their complaints. This, when implemented, will probably be a first by any Indian bank.
How does the complaint mechanism work? Any individual, whether a customer of that particular bank or not, can lodge grievances against a bank using the SPGRS. Under this system, bank websites are to have an ‘SPGRS’ icon leading to an online form where grievances can be filed. Physical complaints received through complaint registers at branches are to be entered into the SPGRS immediately.
The advantages of the SPGRS are numerous. Firstly, it allows the real time lodging of complaints. Any branch, regional, zonal or head office can register grievances on behalf of complainants and can view the status simultaneously. Any complaint is automatically acknowledged by email, its status can be tracked online and it is automatically escalated to the next level, if it is not addressed within the specified time period. Also, the administrative module of SPGRS can be used for qualitative analysis by regional heads for rendering better customer services.
A preliminary inspection of the websites of four of the top public sector banks revealed that while Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank have implemented SPGRS with great clarity and detail. There is a clearly visible ‘SPGRS’ icon on their websites that leads to pages through which complaints may be lodged and tracked with ease. Bank of Baroda found that over the last two quarters, the number of complaints received through SPGRS was higher than through alternative channels; they also report an increasing trend in complaints received through SPGRS.
While the SBI website does not explicitly have an SPGRS icon, its customer redressal policy follows its guidelines. It has a clear, easily accessible online form through which complaints can be made and tracked. However, Punjab National Bank’s website does not appear to have an online form for complaints. All four websites have a clearly outlined consumer redressal policy and details regarding whom to contact and timeframes after which complaints can be escalated to the next level.
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