What is Banking Ombudsman and how to approach?

Recently, one of my client’s personal loan calculation was wrongly calculated by a nationalized bank. When he approached the bank then the bank was in no mood to hear his voice. When he raised the voice with Banking Ombudsman then it was resolved within few days. So what is a Banking Ombudsman?

Banking RulesThis is the service setup by RBI under the guidelines called “Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006” wherein your complaints against your bankers will be resolved with expeditious and inexpensive manner. Banking Ombudsman is the senior official appointed by Reserve Bank of India to redress such complaints. All public, private and co-operative banks come under this scheme. This is the free service provided by RBI.  Usually the compensation amount will be lower of-Amount payable by bank to complainant as compensation for the loss incurred or Rs.10 lakhs. You can claim the compensation related to your mental agony you faced because of your bankers upto Rs.1 lakh, especially related to credit card operations.

What types of complaints you can lodge?

  • Non payment or delay in payment or collection or cheque or drafts etc.
  • Non acceptance of small denomination currency or charging anything on that.
  • Non adherence to prescribed working hours.
  • Failure in providing a banking facility which was earlier claimed during the account opening procedure.
  • Refusal to open deposit account.
  • Levying charges without prior notice.
  • Non adherence to the instructions of RBI related to ATM/Debit/Credit Card operations.
  • Delay or non disbursement of pension.
  • Delay or refusal in accepting payment towards tax.
  • Forced closure of deposit without notice or without any proper reason.
  • Refusal to close or delay in closing accounts.
  • Not adhering to fair practices.
  • Nonobservance on recovery agents as prescribed by RBI.
  • Any other matter related to violation of RBI rules.
  • Nonobservance of RBI guidelines on loan interest.
  • Delay in Loan processing.
  • Not accepting application for Loan.
  • Fraudulent transfer of amount by net banking.
  • Forcing customer to buy any products while loan processing stage.

What type of complaints may get rejected?

  • If you haven’t approached your bank before knocking Banking Ombudsman.
  • If your complaint is more than one year from your bank reply to the specific complaint.
  • If the same complaint is pending in consumer court or court of law.
  • If your complaint is not serious or relevant.

How to complain?

You have the option to register your complaint either online by visiting “ONLINE COMPLAINT WITH BANKING OMBUDSMAN ” or you can write directly to the Banking Ombudsman of your region. Currently there are 15 Banking Ombudsman centers located across India. While you are complaining to your regional Banking Ombudsman then there is a complain registration format which you can get it “FORM OF COMPLAINT (TO BE LODGED) WITH THE BANKING OMBUDSMAN“. Otherwise, you can use your own format to complain.

Banking Ombudsman Addresses

As I said above, currently there are 15 centers located across India. Contact details of each Banking Ombudsman with phone and email ids will be available at “Banking Ombudsman Addresses“.

If you are not satisfied with the order, then you can approach the Appellate Authority (Deputy Governor of the RBI) or you can use the available rules and laws to approach further. You can appeal against the order within 30 days of receiving the order from Banking Ombudsman.

Few interesting data related to Banking Ombudsman Report 2011-12

  • Total complaints received during 2011-12 are 72,889.
  • Kanpur tops the list (9,633), followed by Delhi (9,180), Mumbai (7,905) and Chennai (6,614).
  • Metropolitan cities tops in complaints (39%), followed by Urban (34%) and semi urban (16%).
  • 73% of complaints were received through post/fax, 14% by online and 13% by email.
  • 91% complaints were from individual.
  • 35% complained against SBI and its associates, 31% against Nationalized Banks and 21% against Private Sector Banks.
  • 25% complaints  were against failure to commitments, codes and fair practices.
  • 21% complaints were against Card related.
  • 12% complained against Deposit Accounts.
  • 54% of complaints were settled through mutual settlement.

Hope above information will strengthen your rights while dealing with your banks 🙂

50 thoughts on “What is Banking Ombudsman and how to approach?”

  1. Hello Sir,

    I’ve recently opened an account in kvb and was informed that I’ve to maintain the minimum balance of 1200 rupees. But afterwards I realized that the bank has kept a hold on the minimum balance amount. I then approached the bank to remove the hold and release the money, but they shouted at me saying that I’ve been informed about it and cannot be able to release the amount. I was surprised and all the people in the bank starred at me in a sense of pity. I am an NRI and somehow know the rules of the banks, but I never heard that the minimum balance will be kept in hold forever. It is not the matter of 1200 or anything, but being an NRI I wasn’t able defend myself in the bank despite knowing the rules. And to point it out my Father holds an account in the same branch and his account was free without any holds. Please suggest me a procedure to execute.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Dear Shnmukh,
      Let them give it in writing that they informed you while opening the account. Also, cross-check whether there is any clause in account opening form that this is particularly mentioned and you already accepted and signed. If so, then bank has an edge.

      1. Dear sir,
        I’ve complained about this issue through telephone and the issue was resolved. Thank you for the advice sir. People need this type of blog to discuss with experts like you to deal with banking problems.

        Thank you

  2. M.S.Chakraborty

    An education loan has been sanctioned by Axis Bank for my daughter for her higher studies abroad.
    The request for 1st Disbursement from subject loan was made on 28.05.18 and accordingly USD 11276.42 was transferred to the beneficiary University account on 29.05.18. In doing this, INR 655440/- was disbursed from loan account and I have paid INR 159256/- as Margin amount plus INR 3744/- as Remittance charges as advised by the bank. The executives concerned did not discuss with me the exchange rates considered at that stage. On 30.05.18 and 31.05.18, I raised this query through a series of mails. On 31.05.18 evening, I was verbally informed that a TT rate of 1USD=Rs.70.3550 has been charged for the disbursement on 29.05.18.
    This is much higher than the TC selling rate of 1USD=Rs.68.3 applied by Axis Bank on 28.05.18 for the same student’s forex card. Also, the above TT selling rate of Axis Bank applied for my daughter’s loan account on 29.05.18 is higher than other Public & Private sector Banks. Example, Information available confirms TT selling rate for ICICI Bank on 29.05.18 was 1USD=Rs.68.7. I raised these issues further on 06.06.18, with even more senior officials of the Bank’s loan centre and received a response on 07.06.18 which is very unsatisfactory.
    Should I now approach the Banking Ombudsman and how long do you think they will take to respond.

  3. My self deposited 14400 in cdma machine of jubilee pura Khammam branch. But no credited in my account. I put letter to manager but add only Rs.13400 in my account. Bank employees are not cooperate in this matter. Please solve the problem as soon as soon as possible. So many members facing with cdma machine.

  4. Hello
    I. A victim of Debit card cloning fraud happend in May 2017. I hold an ac with union Bank of india Mumbai. One night on 10th May 2017 I got an sms from the bank stating amount Rs 20000 has been deducted from my debit card using atm at that time I was at home having dinner sensing a fraud I immediately reported the matter to the nearest police station and did an Fir. The next day I went to the bank and gave a written complaint of the fraud. Since then the bank has failed to provide me a reasonable answer nor has union Bank of india returned my money even the police had failed to provide an answer. It had been 8 months I’m still waiting for my money. What should I do next? Approach the banking ombudsman?

      1. I complained in July 17 for my debit card fraud case in Mumbai and won in April 18 I got lost amount but now I will appeal again with the Appellate Authority Rbi for interest and penalty

  5. Dear Sir,

    Yesterday, My SBI credit card was used through online by unknown person an amount of 18,000.00 Rs.
    I called the SBI customer care service and they replied your card was blocked and your card was used by someone and said, complaint was registered, we will give reply on or before 6-nov-2017 and said this is emergency number only, for full clarity and further information call to another number 18001801290. but this number is not working. Today i cross checked in internet banking, my complaint status is closed. again i called to customer care center they replied, it will take 120 days time to investigate, have patience.

    in this case what should i do ? please give suggestions.

  6. Hi Sir,

    My bank has not issued me the Notice of Intimation documents in the stipulated time frame of 30days from the date of mortgage and therefore I have been unable to submit the same to the registrar’s office and despite repeated communication to them they have not responded to my complaint. Can I approach the Banking Ombudsman?


    1. NM-Before knocking the door of Banking Ombudsman, within a bank, there are layers of complaint registration, whether you reached to the highest level? If so, then as a last resort you can knock Ombudsman.

      1. Thanks for the reply.

        Yes, I have submitted complaint to all levels from 1 to 4 including sending/marking mails to the MD but all I get are acknowledgements with a complaint reference number with a timeline for status update.

        The self defined timelines by the Banking Officer elapses without any further communication or response at that level. I had to raise it subsequently to next level and the same thing is repeated.

        I am presently at level 4 and waiting to see if my problem is resolved. I am exploring options available to me if they refuse to respond to me even now. Level4 is the last level in their matrix.

        Thanks and regards.

  7. Sir,I am a NRI working in dubai,can someone guide me for solution to my problem with a foreign bank.Bank has closed my decades old premier nre a/c (jointly held with my wife)without any notice all seems to be due to something wrong in the bank.

    Suddenly in all correspondence was addressed to my wife(2nd holder),all mail and sms and started going to other parties and then suddenly my nre a/c was closed without notice.I have invested more than INR 5 million in mutual funds thru bank’s online platform.dividend warrant are reaching dubai with closed a/c number mentioned on dividend warrant because my nre a/c was closed.

    All standing instruction disappeared,all investment records disappeared from online platform.for more than a year bank staff was in denail mode and were blaming me and now again and again they asking me to send application to re-open nre a/c.My nro account,credit card is still working.

    I need to be compensated for my deep mental stress and losses due to their action, which seems to be due to something wrong within bank
    Waiting for your favorable reply

  8. Sir,
    I am an saving bank A/C.holder of Bank Of Baroda.S.A.Road Branch, Nagpur.
    On 16.01.2017 i have tried to withdraw Rs. 4500.00 through A.T.M.I have received Rs. 2500.00 only. But my a/c. is debited by Rs. 4500.00
    I have lodged a complaint to the bank,but uptill now no result.
    Thereafter on 06.05.2016 i have lodged an online complaint with R.B.I.Ombudsman, Mumbai.
    No reply yet.
    I am a senior citizen of 73 years of age,and in need of the balance amt. of Rs. 2000.00 very urgently,due to my medical problems.
    You are requested to pl. guide me,in this matter.
    With Regards.
    Agwan Deepak

  9. Shiv Kumar agarwal

    Hi Sir,

    I have been looking for something of this kind for long time…thank you for writing this block.

    We are three brothers and used to run 2 shops. for expansion of our business, we were approached by Quick Loans agency and they got our loan processed by INDUSIND Bank Ltd. at the time of taking loan we said we do not require any insurance and Quickloan (Shiva) said it is just a formality and they will waive of the fees later, which they didn’t.

    we have never defaulted payment of EMI, in the meantime, there were two major thefts in our shops and also we were having financial crisis. so we were forced to close the shops, we approached the bank a year earlier after 2nd theft for closure of bank loan. They said we have to pay the pre-closure charges of 4% not considering our problems of thefts(for which we have FIRs lodged with police) or else we can pay a quarter amount of loan every year without charges. we paid 1 quarter amount to them at that time, but still have to pay a lot of amount.

    Now, there is another theft in our new shop, and if we dont pay the amount back, we are fearing we might not be able to pay it back later. we are approaching them again and also citing the RBI circular circular DBOD. No. Dir.BC.107/13.03.00/2011-12 dated June 5, 2012 on ‘Home Loans- Levy of Fore-closure Charges/ Pre-payment Penalty’. But still they are not ready to take the amount without pre closure charges.

    My question is since we have used the shops as party apart from my mom and we three brothers. but still its a proprietor firm, so as per the circular. they have to accept the loan prepayment with pre closure charges.

    Can i approach the Banking Ombudsman regarding repayment and closure of loan which is amounting to approx. 4 lakhs, we dont want to get blacklisted or have our CIBIL score affected. i am already searching for a job due to financial crisis.

    Awaiting your comments on this sir.

    Thanks in advance
    Shiv Kumar Agarwal

        1. However in the loan documents..they have mentioned that there will be pre closure charges of 4% if we pay the loan before the stipulated time.

  10. thank you for this post sir, i took a loan from icici bank and in the middle of the term, they convinced me to go from fixed to floating rate of interest. slowly, they started charging extremely high rates of interest and when i complained, they reduced the rate of interest for subsequent payments.
    i wanted an explanation for the payments where the high rate of interest was charged but they did not listen. i have filed a case with the rbi ombudsman in chandigarh but i was wondering if they are honest and efficient. could you please shed some light on this?

      1. i will sir. but i wanted to know your opinion on the same. have you come across any such cases? do you believe that the ombudsman will be of any help or are they in cahoots with the bank officials only.

  11. Thank you sir request you to add more latest news and create one more article which everyone can access.

  12. Ankit kumar singh

    Dear sir,

    Two days ago somebody has withdrawn rs.15000 from my accout throgh cyber crime. I have lodged complain to bank manager for the same in written ,he said he will investigate the matter . Can i move to banking ombudsman regarding my problem.
    pls advice me the right path to get recovery of my lost money.

    Ankit singh

  13. Dear Sir,

    Today I noticed that my bank account was frozen and I could not withdraw my money, upon complaining on phone banking they mentioned that I have defaulted on a personal loan with the bank and they have linked that loan to my savings account. I have never taken any kind of loan or credit from any bank. When asked for more details about the loan, they refused to help any further and insisted that I pay the loan. I am sure that my documents were not used for any loan since I do not always carry them or shared with anyone.

    Bank is now forcing me to pay the loan I never took and is not ready to release my account. What needs to be done to get this problem resolved?

    1. Gurprit-First visit the bank, try to understand whether actually the loan was sanctioned or not. If sanctioned, then it must be credited to your account ONLY. Try to find out the real issue. Don’t try to use phone banking. Instead visit personally to bank.

      1. Thank you for your reply, I did visit the collection department of bank as directed by the phone banking officer however I was told at branch that they will check and call me. It’s been over a week now and I have not received any communication from the bank. What can I do to escalate this?

  14. My name is Gautam Kumar Anand and I m working in Abu Dhabi (U.A.E) from last 8 years. I have NRE account in ICICI Bank Nariman point branch (Open in the Month of April 2015) which was shifted later to Mira Road East branch.

    On Thursday, 10.12.2015 I came to know that I had lost an amount of Rs. 5, 51,000 from my ICICI Bank account. On further verification with ICICI Bank phone banking officer and checking my ICICI net banking I have noted that two unauthorized beneficiary (MS Garment & Zeenat Enterprise) was added in my ICICI net banking account. Which I had never added and also there is transfer made from my NRE bank account of Rs 551000 on 3.12.15 and 08.12.15.

    Immediately after knowing all these details I launched a complaint with phone banking on same day i.e. 10.12.2015 and blocked my NRE debit card.

    I have already complaint about it to the bank and running behind them every day but so far could not receive any positive response. The FIR has been also filed and duly informed to Cyber Cell Mumbai as well as Indian Embassy where I am at present.

    I had made the complain (Ref No- SR 392835438) with phone banking on 10.12.2015 regarding this incident and also to ICICI bank chief nodal officer and Banks ombudsmen but till now there is no positive response from ICICI Bank. As per the ICICI Customer Service / Branch Manager Case was under investigation and they will update the status by 22nd Jan 2016. but on 10th Jan 2016 ICICI bank send the reply by stating that all the faults are from customer side, according to them they have a strong security system and so unless I compromise on the passwords , the fraud is not possible. They also mentioned that OTP ( One Time Passwords ) were sent to my Email and in view of this they regretted their inability to credit back the amount (If require I can also share the email received from the bank.)

    I m not agree with the ICICI bank investigation because of the following reason and believe that this case needs to be get reinvestigated by the authorities (Police or Cyber Crime cell) –
    a) Bank didn’t provide any investigation report copy and details which I had asked from them through several reminders.
    b) Bank didn’t disclose the identity and owners account details where my money was illegally transferred.
    c) Bank didn’t give the details regarding the IP which was used for making net fund transaction
    d) I didn’t receive any alert msg from ICICI bank on my registered yahoo mail id When the Bank insisted sent an Excel Sheet listing the various OTP’s alleged to have been sent. I wrote to them asking for the original mails sent instead of the Excel sheet. No reply from the Bank till now.
    e) Best of my knowledge I had never clicked on any phishing mails and disclosed my details to anyone. I m single handed handling my ICICI Bank account other than me know one knows any details regarding my account. Not sure how my bank customer id and password revealed to someone when I didn’t share. Other than customer only bank knows the detail.

    So I am looking for your help to resolve my issue and get money back to my account. Please advise what more I can do in order to get my money back to my account.

    1. Gautam-First raise the complaint with police and also banking ombudsman against bank. It seems they are just passing their fault on you. If not receive any complaint, then raise the issue with consumer court. Suggest you to act fast.

  15. sucharita vijayakumar

    i placed a application for credit card with a private bank .They rejected my application refused to give any reason .I told them to atleast return my it returns back has i don’t have a credit history and i don’t want my papers to be misused .the bank isn’t giving me any sort of explanation at all .wat can i do ?

  16. dear sir
    i am voluntarily retired award staff from sbi on medical ground.
    bank left some descripancies while processing my application causing financial loss
    now to settle these pre retiremetn issues 1) what is system and procedure 2) to whom should i contact 3) how many forums are open to me……………please guide me on [email protected]

  17. Dear sir,

    I wanted to know that what mean by “salary account”.
    If one should have salary account then should the bank charge to account holder for non maintaining minimum balance ?

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