Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pensioners' woes double, but depositors cry less

Complaints from pensioners have almost doubled in a year’s time while those from depositors have halved and credit card and direct selling agents have come down, shows the Trends and Progress report 2010-11 , released by RBI on Monday. 

Banks received as many as 4,831 complaints from pensioners against 2,916 a year ago while depositors’ complaints have reduced from 6,708 to 3,681 in 2010-11 . 

Banking ombudsmen received a total of 79,266 complaints compared with 69,117 in the previous year, up 14.7%. It may be recalled that RBI deputy governor KC Chakrabarty had pointed out in the annual report on banking ombudsmen that “it may be needed to tie up customer experience outcomes to regulatory capital” to improve customer service. “Looking forward, a customer service ratingbased approach with quantitative parameters ultimately linked to its capital can serve such a purpose,” he had said. 

Mr Chakrabarty had indicated that the move to charge higher capital would be in line with the ultimate aim of regulation to move towards an outcomebased approach where customer outcomes can be quantitatively measured and regulatory response formulated accordingly. 

The report shows that the share of complaints have declined for new private banks and foreign banks to 15.1% from 17.5% a year ago. However, it should be noted that the share of banking assets of foreign lenders declined from 7.2% from 8.5% last year while that of new private banks in India fell from 15.2% to 14.6% a year ago. 

The RBI report pointed out that the share of complaints regarding credit and debit cards has fallen over the previous year. This could be partly because banks have begun following very conservative policy in issuing cards and have been issuing mainly to their customers. 

Meanwhile, the share of complaints for the SBI group has increased from 27.2% to 30.1%. However, it should be noted that the SBI group has 25% market share and it has been rapidly increasing its branches from 15,953 in 2009-10 and touched 18,114 in 2010-11 . The share of complaints from nationalised banks — PSU banks, other than the SBI group — was almost one-fourth against 22.4% a year ago. 

Chennai had the highest number of complaints at 12,727 against 10,381 a year ago, followed by New Delhi at 12,045 against 10,473 the previous year. Mumbai recorded 10,558 complaints against 9,631 a year ago.