A group of bank customers, consumer activists, policy watchers, bankers, trade unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), has requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to urgently change policies to ensure that banks treat bank customers fairly.
In a Memorandum sent to RBI Governor Dr Urjit Patel, they said, "We are disturbed at the unfair treatment that bank customers suffer in the form of frequent, arbitrary and one-sided increase in banking charges, or the refusal of banks to automatically pass on contractual benefits such as lower interest to those with floating rate home loans, or the rampant mis-sellling of third-party products such as insurance."
"The RBI as the banking regulator has been proactive in improving the customer service rendered by banks. However, the RBI has not taken banks to task on the many customer-unfriendly practices that are increasing with impunity. Over the years, the RBI has remained silent on several anti-depositor actions of banks. The Banking Ombudsman's rulings also tend to side with banks, making no attempt to observe the pattern of complaints which would amply bring out rampant mis-selling of insurance and wealth management products. We have identified some specific areas and request RBI's intervention to take corrective steps after engaging with customers," the Memorandum says.
The Memorandum is sent to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Secretary of Financial Services as well. Those who have signed and endorsed the Memorandum, include, RN Bhaskar (Free Press Journal), Dhirendra Kumar (Value Research), Abhay Datar (Mumbai Grahak Panchayat), Shubha Khandekar, Harsh Vardhan Roongta, Dolphy D'souza (Police Reforms Watch), Mahua Ghose, Partha Mansukhani (Public Concern for Governance Trust -PCGT), Lalita Joshi (All India Bank Employees Association -AIBEA), Raj Vaidya (Central Bank Employees' Union -CBEU), Adv Bapoo Malcolm, Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu (Moneylife Foundation), S Saroja (Citizen consumer and civic Action Group -CAG, Chennai), AV Shenoy (Rashtriya Matdata Manch) and Yogesh Sapkale (Moneylife), among others.
Here is the copy of the Memorandum