Credit card complaints top list of grievances: RBI ombudsman

Mumbai, Feb 1 (PTI) Credit card grievances relating toovercharging and issuance of unsolicited cards accounted forbulk of the complaints received by the banking ombudsmanduring 2009-10.

The banking ombudsman has received 18,810 credit cardcomplaints, which accounted for 24 per cent of the totalgrievances received during 2009-10, data released by theReserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.

The number of complaints has been increasing year-on-yearbasis. In 2008-09, the ombudsman received 17,648 complaints,while it stood at 10,129 in 2007-08.

The Reserve Bank had launched the banking ombudsmanscheme in 2005 to redress grievances of customers.

"A general source of these complaints continues to be thedifficulty in accessing the credit card issuers and the poorresponse from the call centres. Simply put, this is the issueof non-transparency and mis-selling," the RBI said.

The types of card-related complaints consists of itemslike issuance of unsolicited credit cards and recovery ofpremium charges, charging of annual fee in spite of beingoffered as ''free'' card, it said.

The ombudsman also received credit card complaints fordisputes over wrong billing, abusive calls, excessive charges,wrong debits to account, non-dispensation of money from ATM,among others.

"Complaints relating to credit cards (comprising 24 percent of the total complaints in 2009-10 as compared to 25.5per cent in 2008-09) show a declining trend this year," theRBI said.

The credit card complaints also include complaintsrelated to debit cards and ATM cards also.

The ombudsman has also received complaints relating tofailure on commitments made by banks, which include delay inproviding banking facilities.

The ombudsman received 11,569 complaints for failure tomeeting commitments during 2009-10, which was 15 per cent ofthe total complaints received.

"This points to the lack of sensitivity, transparency.... As these complaints mostly relate to basic bankingfacilities, banks need to address these issues on prioritybasis without any demur," the RBI said.

Further, it has also received 6,612 complaints related toloans and advance, 1,609 complaints against direct sellingagents or recovery agents.

In total during 2009-10, the ombudsman has received79,266 complaints, higher than 69,117 received in the previousyear.

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