RBI to expand Internal Ombudsman mechanism by CICs

Under order to strengthen the mechanism for handling complaints, the Reserve Bank decided on Friday to include Credit Information Companies (CICs) in the Internal Ombudsman framework.

After announcing the bi-monthly monetary policy, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said, "With a view to strengthening the internal grievance redress by CICs themselves, it has been decided to mandate CICs to have their own Internal Ombudsman (IO) structure."

The method for resolving customer complaints has been strengthened by the Reserve Bank-Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS). According to the RBI's Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies, the turnaround time for resolving complaints under RB-IOS has significantly decreased.

The RB-IOS 2021 covers Regulated Entities (REs) such as scheduled commercial banks including urban cooperative banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and non-scheduled primary co-operative banks with a deposit size of Rs 50 crore and above.

To broaden the scope of the RB-IOS, it has been decided to include CICs as well, according to the announcement, which would give RE customers a free alternative redressal channel for complaints against CICs.
It also stated that it had been agreed to include CICs in the Internal Ombudsman (IO) framework in order to strengthen and improve the internal grievance redressal process of CICs.

Regarding outsourcing, the RBI claimed that REs are doing it more frequently as a way to cut costs and access knowledge that isn't internally available. Although outsourcing a permitted activity is a decision that REs make for operational reasons, it exposes REs to a number of risks.

The RBI has occasionally published instructions for handling risks when REs outsource particular tasks.
''In view of the increasing trend of outsourcing, the framework for REs to manage the associated risks needs to be suitably strengthened. Therefore, a draught Master Direction on Managing Risks and Code of Conduct in Outsourcing of Financial Services would be published soon for input from stakeholders in order to harmonise and consolidate the existing norms, Das said.

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