Bank unions suggest ‘Banking Ombudsman’ be changed to ‘Banking Lokpal’
Moneylife Digital Team 10 February 2011

Bank employee unions insist name of grievances cell should be easily understood by common citizens; also push for a special counter for senior citizens

A committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look into the issues of customer services has agreed to change the name of the Banking Ombudsman to something simpler like the 'Banking Lokpal', which is less of a tongue-twister.

This suggestion was made by the Indian National Bank Employees' Federation (INBEF) to the committee headed by M Damodaran as many customers from rural areas were not familiar with the term ombudsman and would therefore not be forthcoming with their complaints on banking services to the department.

Subhash Sawant, general secretary, INBEF, said, "Many bank customers mainly from rural customers do not understand what ombudsman is all about. When we ask them to file a complaint with the ombudsman, they simply ask us, 'What is ombudsman?' "

The Federation has also suggested that the number of offices of the banking ombudsman be increased. Currently there is only one office that is based in Mumbai and it covers mainly Maharashtra and Goa. It has also asked that a special counter should cater to senior citizens at the branches of all banks, during the first 10 days of every month, as the number of pensioners has increased sharply.

In its reply to IBNEF with respect to its suggestions, the committee said, "The title of the RBI Banking Ombudsman may be changed to a simpler, easily understandable one. The area of operations of the Ombudsman may also be enlarged." In a letter to the Federation the committee also said, "The number of pensioners is increasing. Special counters for pensioners may be considered especially during the first week of every month."

"The committee has agreed in principle to our recommendations. We welcome the response on the matter of senior citizens. About the matter of changing the name of the banking ombudsman, we will know when the report is out," Mr Sawant said.

Other bank unions were also represented along with the IBNEF at the meeting with the Damodaran committee which also discussed issues like clean currency notes, shortage of banking staff and banking-related security.

Ashok M rane
1 decade ago
I am happy that the Union's demand is getting support from all quarters- Bank customers etc. Hope that the Lokpal Institution gets very active.
Nagesh KiniFCA
1 decade ago
It is great that we'll soon see the new avatar of Banking Lokpal. So far so good.
All the three Ombudsmen - Banking, Insurance and Income Tax have been making life easier for the aam admi by cutting the red tape. Jai Ho!
1 decade ago
This is a very logical and reasonable demand. In any case, Banking Ombudsman has not really been able to render any worthwhile service to the small depositors due to the fact that the Bank authorities, eg., the CMDs, etc., are too big and influential as compared to a puny retired civil servant interested only in a post-retirement job with attendant benefits of an office to take undisturbed rest, use of free telephones, transport facilities, and the like. This is an institution, like any other similar non-performing offices in the Insurance Sector, Income Tax Department and the like is a mere showpiece to please or fool the common people whose grievances are never redressed nor even any attempt is made to do so-as in t6he IT Ombudsman's case.
nagesh kini
1 decade ago
At the MoneyLife Foundation first anniversary the RBI DG Dr. Chakraborty ridiculed the suggestion to rename Ombudsman as being akin to changing one's name.
Frankly not many know what, where and who the ombudsman in Mumbai is.
The income tax department has been releasing half page ads on all relevant services and contact particulars of the IT ombudsman.
My own personal on getting long overdue refund cleared has been great and wouldn't mind sharing it with others.
It is high time that RBI and IRDA necessarily put their Ombudsmen in the public domain.
1 decade ago

very good suggestion.
lokpal is much more people-friendly
than the tonguetwister 'ombudsman'.
just like mumbai is to bombay......
Nagesh KiniFCA
1 decade ago
The suggestion to swish over a Deshi "Lokpal" from difficult to pronounce Swedish Lokpal was validly made to RBI DG Dr. Chakrborty during a Q&A session during the MoneyLife Foundation anniversary meet.
Now that it is gaining widespread acceptance the RBI should take note and effect the change.
The rose by any name will not smell less sweet!
A M Rane
1 decade ago
Shri Subhash Sawant has made very good suggestion for changing the name of Ombudsman which will help in popularising the scheme. Common man wont get hesitated to make complaints.
nagesh kini
1 decade ago
As one who has made submissions on Senior Citizens' issues to the Damodaran Committee I am certainly eagerly looking forward to reading its report. It is hoped that it will consider the various concerns of users of banking services.
Bank Lokpal is the right nomenclature.
RBI DG Dr. Chakravorty may not be able to change his name but the foreign tongue twister ombudsman can certainly be changed to a more user friendly Lokpal!
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