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RBI asks credit info companies to appoint internal ombudsman by April 1 next year

Mumbai, Oct 6, 2022

The Reserve Bank on Thursday asked Credit Information Companies to appoint internal ombudsman by April 1 next year in order to improve the efficiency of their grievance redressal mechanisms.

The Internal Ombudsman (IO) will not handle complaints received directly from the complainants or members of the public and, instead, deal only with the complaints that have already been examined by the CIC but have been partly or wholly rejected by the CIC, the RBI said in a circular.

In order to make the Reserve Bank-Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS) 2021 more broad based, the central bank in August this year had decided to bring CICs also under the ambit of the scheme. The RBI had said the move will provide a cost-free alternate redressal mechanism to customers of regulated entities for grievances against CICs.

The RBI on Thursday issued a circular on appointment of internal ombudsman by CICs.

"Every CIC shall appoint the internal ombudsman for a fixed term of not less than three years, but not exceeding five years...," the circular said, and the CIC will have to ensure that the post of the IO does not remain vacant at any point of time.

It further said complaints related to fraud and misappropriation, except those resulting from deficiency in service, if any, on the part of the CIC, will not be handled by the IO.

As per the circular, the internal ombudsman will report to the managing director or chief executive officer of the CIC administratively, and to the Board functionally.

The areas relating to customer service and customer grievance redressal will be a part of the supervisory review undertaken by the Reserve Bank.

Further, the Reserve Bank will review the cases where the decision of the IO has not been accepted by the CIC, the RBI said.

[The Times of India]

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