Grievance Redressal Policy (2016-17)
In the present scenario of competitive banking, excellence in customer service is the most important tool for sustained business growth. Customer complaints are part of the business life of any corporate entity. This is more so for banks because banks are service organizations. As a service organization, customer service and customer satisfaction should be the prime concern of any bank. The bank believes that providing prompt and efficient service is essential not only to aquire new customers, but also to retain existing customers & customer dissatisfaction would spoil bank's name and image.
This policy document aims at minimizing instances of customer complaints and grievances through proper service delivery and review mechanism and to ensure prompt redressal of customer complaints and grievances. The review mechanism envisages identifying shortcomings in product features and service delivery.
Our bank's policy on grievance redressal set out below is based upon the under noted basic principles:-
- A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to an organization relating to its products, services or the complaint handling process where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected.
- Customers be treated fairly at all times;
- Complaints raised by customers are dealt with courtesy and without any loss of time;
- Customers are fully informed of avenues available for registering their complaints/grievances within the organization and their rights to alternative remedy, if they are not fully satisfied with the response of the bank to their complaints;
- Bank would treat all complaints efficiently and fairly as they can damage the bank's reputation and business if not handled properly;
- The bank employees must work in good faith and without prejudice to the interests of the customer;
- Awareness of staff members in respect of the need to minimize customer grievances for securing long term goals of the Bank/Institution should be ensured;
- The Bank would not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, marital Status, religion or disability;
The customer is the focus of Banks products, services and people. The Banks business growth depends entirely on the satisfaction of customers with what the Bank offers them.
In order to make our bank's redressal mechanism more meaningful and effective, a structured system needs to be built towards such end. Such system should ensure that the redressal sought is just and fair and is within the ambit of the frame-work of rules and regulations that the bank operates in. This policy document would be made available at all branches and all the employees of the Bank would be made aware about the complaint handling process.
The basic idea behind this policy is to deal with complaints quickly & sympathetically. The intention of this policy is to:-
- handling customer complaints promptly;
- correcting mistakes promptly and cancelling any bank charges that the bank had applied by mistake;
- letting the customer know to take his complaint forward in case he is not satisfied with the primary response from the bank and
- providing suitable alternate avenues to mitigate problems arising out of technological failures.
1.1 From a study of the pattern of the complaints received, the customer complaints usually arise on account of the following factors;
- The attitudinal aspects in dealing with customers
- Inadequacy of the functions/arrangements made available to the customers or gaps in standards of services expected and actual services rendered.
- Technology related i.e. ATM, e-banking business, m-banking business.
The customer is entitled to register his complaint whenever he is not satisfied with the services provided by the Bank. He can submit his complaint in writing, orally or over telephone.
2. Internal Mechanism to handle Customer complaints/grievances
A customer can lodge a complaint in writing to a branch, Zonal Office, Circle office or Head Office under this policy. Complaints can also be lodged with the Help Line number of the Bank over telephone, Customer Care e-mail ID, SPGRS or any other mode as convenient to the customers. Various modes through which a customer can lodge the complaint are explained hereunder.
Complaints in person
A customer, if not satisfied with services of the branch or has a grievance can lodge a complaint in person at the branch by submitting a written letter to the Branch Manager and can obtain an acknowledgement. Customer may also drop his complaint in the complaint box.
Complaint over phone
Customer can lodge his grievance over telephone to the branch, Zonal Office, Circle Office and Head Office. Complaint may be lodged at Bank's call centre on Toll free no. 18002740123 which is accessible on 24/7 basis.
Complaint through Mail
Customer can submit their grievance by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Complaint received by mail shall be acknowledged by e-mail to the extent possible.
In case the customer is not satisfied with the handling of his complaint, he may contact the General Manager, Strategic Planning Department, Head Office at the following contact details:
Telephone: 033-4455-7970 Fax No. 033-4455-7319
When a complaint is received in writing, an acknowledgement of the complaint will be sent to the complainant within three days from the date of receipt of complaint. If the complaint is made over telephone at Bank's designated Help Line number, the customer will be provided with a complaint reference number by the Help Line Desk. Complaints lodged through Standardized Public Grievances Redressal System (SPGRS) - a link which has been provided on the home page of Bank's website, shall be acknowledged online by the system and a 20 character acknowledgement number will be provided to the complainant.
All Complaints received directly by branches, zones, circles or by Head Office and also those received from Central/State Governments, Ministries, Government Departments, Reserve Bank of India, Members of Parliament and Legislative Councils, IBA, BCSBI etc either in physical form or by e-mails will be entered in SPGRS for better control. Efforts will be made to resolve the complaints within a time period of 21 days from the date of receipt of such complaints.
Categories of complaints are broadly classified as under:
- Transaction related: Deposit/ cash related/ opening of account/ transfer of account/ closure of account/ claims on deceased depositors' A/cs/ TDS related/ Service charge related etc.
- Advance related : Complaints related to Loans and Advances/interest related.
- Government related: PPF/Pension/Government business/NPS/Swavlamban/Atal pension Yojna/PMJJBY/PMSBY/PMJDY etc.
- Branch related: Basic facilities to customers/ambience/customer service area/long queue etc.
- Staff related: Alleged harassment, misbehaviour/use of rude language, alleged bribery etc.
- Technology related: Disputed ATM transaction/POS transaction/ Internet banking transaction/Mobile banking transaction/RTGS/NEFT.
Grievance related to Technology
Grievance related to technology are further bifurcated as under:
a. ATM related disputes are bifurcated as under:
A. Our customers using our ATMs- The disputes arises out of following events:
1. Transaction is unsuccessful, but customer account is debited.
2. Transaction is successful and account debited and cash not dispensed.
3. Account debited twice but cash not dispensed or dispensed only once.
4. Cash partially dispensed but full amount debited to the account.
B. Our customers using other Bank's ATMs.
C. Other Bank's Customers using our Bank's ATMs.
ATM failed transaction automatically gets reversed within a period of 24 hours, hence customers may be requested to wait for a day and then lodge complaint in case the amounts is not automatically reversed.
In case if ATM failed/ disputed transaction is not reversed within a day, customer can lodge his grievance through any mode (writing, e-mail, SPGRS etc.) wherein complaint gets registered and a complaint no. Is provided to the customer. Complaints on ATM failed/disputed transaction are dealt by ATM Transaction Banking Division (ATBD), Mumbai who verify the transaction and either credit the amount to customer account for unsuccessful transaction or provide a copy of JP Log/EJ log as evidential documents to customer for successful transaction.
If the customer is not satisfied and the complaint is again raised then it is taken up with ATBD, Mumbai through ATM owing branch on pre arbitration basis with other banks for providing no excess cash report, CCTV footage, Engineer's report for resolving the matter.
For other help in ATM cum Debit card related operations and other issues relating to alternate Banking Channels, toll free helpline number 18002740123 has been made available. The customers may also contact their home branch or email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for redressal of their complaints.
b. Internet Banking:
The customer to ensure that log in ID and password are kept secured and confidential. Grievances related to internet banking such as disputed debit, failed transaction but account debited, account debited but amount not credited to beneficiaries account, account not settled, no transaction rights etc. can be lodged through any mode of channels. These complaints are resolved by branch concerned or E-Banking department at Head Office level.
Disputed transaction in Mobile banking such as account debited twice for the same transaction, account debited and amount not credited at the other end/ received by the merchant establishment, online disputed transactions like failed online transaction but account debited, erroneous debits etc. can be lodged through any mode of channels mentioned above..
For assistance in Internet Banking/ mobile Banking the customer may contact the same helpline number as for ATM card transactions. The customer may also post his grievance on following Email IDs for e-banking and mobile banking respectively: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
For assistance in RTGS/NEFT the customers can directly lodge their complaints to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous and pseudonymous complaints:
In view of the fact that complainants who desire to protect their identity now have the protection of the Public Interest Disclosure & Protection of Informers' Resolution - 2004 (PIDPI), the following procedure has been laid down for handling such anonymous and pseudonymous complaints:
- No action is required to be taken on anonymous complaints, irrespective of the nature of allegations and such complaints need to be simply filed.
- Complaints containing vague allegations could also be filed without verification of identity of the complainant.
- If a complaint contains verifiable allegations, Bank may take cognizance of such complaint. In such cases, the complaint will be first sent to the complainant for owning/disowning, as the case may be. If no response is received from the complainant within 15 days of sending the complaint, a reminder will be sent. After waiting 15 days after sending the reminder, if still nothing is heard, the said complaint may be filed as pseudonymous by Bank/Branch.
- However, as good Corporate Governance, depending upon the gravity of the allegation, the same will be examined by the Bank.
2.1 Time Frame
- Complaints need to be seen in the right perspective because they indirectly reveal weak spots in the working of the bank. Complaints received will be analyzed from all possible angles. Specific time schedule set up for handling complaints will be adhered to towards disposing of such complaints at all levels including branches, Zonal Office, Circle Office and Head Office.
- Branch Managers will arrange to resolve the complaints within specific time frame, as decided by the bank.
- Complaints are to be resolved as per the timelines. Automatic escalation mechanism is built in the Standard Public Grievance Redressal System (SPGRS) system with the following periodicity:
|Zonal office level
|Circle Office level
Branch/zonal office/circle office/head office are allowed to change the status of the complaint once it is resolved. Audit trial builds up automatically to find out at which level the complaint was resolved.
In case a complaint cannot be resolved within the above-mentioned time frame, the customer will be informed about the reasons as to why more time is needed to redress the complaint.
- Complaints which require more time for examination of issues involved will also be acknowledged promptly and endeavour will be made to resolve such complaints at the earliest.
- Zonal Office will send action taken report on complaints received to Circle Office at the end of every month on the basis of information received by them from the branches. Circle Office, in turn, will send the consolidated data on action taken report to the Head Office by 10th of succeeding month.
If the customer is not satisfied with the resolution of the bank he/she may approach Banking Ombudsman appointed by Reserve Bank of India under The Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 or other legal avenues available for getting his grievances redressed. A copy of The Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006 is displayed in all branches and Bank's website.
2.2 Branch Level Customer Service Committees
In order to encourage a formal channel of communication between the customers and the bank at the branch level, branches will take necessary steps for strengthening the branch level committees with greater involvement of customers. It is desirable that branch level committees include their customers including senior citizen(s) and also retired members of Bank's staff. The Branch Level Customer Service Committee would meet at least once in a month to study complaints/ suggestions, cases of delay, and difficulties faced / reported by customers / members of the Committee and evolve ways and means of resolving them and for improving customer service.
2.3 Standing Committee on Customer Service
The Standing Committee on Customer Service would be chaired by the Executive Director of the Bank and two to three senior Executives of the Bank will be members. The Committee would also have two to three eminent non-executives drawn from the public as members. The Committee would have the following functions:
- Evaluate feed-back on quality of customer service received from various quarters including feedback received from Decoy customers. The committee would also review comments/feed-back on customer service and implementation of Code of Bank's Commitments to Customers received from BCSBI.
- The Committee would be responsible to ensure that all regulatory instructions regarding customer service are followed by the bank. Towards this, the committee would obtain necessary feed-back from the respective functional heads.
- The committee would consider unresolved complaints/grievances referred to it by functional heads responsible for redressal and offer their advice.
- The committee would submit report on its performance to the customer service committee of the board at quarterly intervals.
- The Committee would also review the cases of non-compliance with the provisions of the code, including the complaints which are not redressed within the time-frame of 30 days stipulated in this policy.
2.4 Customer Service Committee of the Board
- The Customer Service Committee of the Board would be responsible for review of policies in regard to improving customer service, the annual survey of depositor satisfaction and the tri-annual audit of such services. The Committee would also examine issues having a bearing on the quality of customer service rendered by the bank.
- This Committee would also review the functioning of the Standing Committee on Customer Service.
- The Customer Service Committee of the Board would be responsible for reviewing and providing guidance to the customers in respect of customer service (both for depositors as well as borrowers).
2.5. Nodal Officer and other designated officials to handle Grievances
Nodal Officer of the rank of General Manager (or its equivalent) of the Bank will be responsible for the implementation of customer service and complaint handling for the bank as a whole. Zonal Managers will act as Customer Relation Officer (Nodal Officer) at Zonal Offices who will handle complaint/grievances in respect of branches falling under their control. Aggreived customer can write directly regarding their grievances quoting the complaint no. at the following address:
Strategic Planning Department
Head Office,UCO Bank
2nd Floor, 10, BTM Sarani
Telephone: 033-4455-7970 Fax No. 033-4455-7319
3. Mandatory display requirements
We shall arrange to display information on the following aspects;
- Appropriate arrangement for receiving complaints and suggestions.
- The name, address and contact number of Nodal Officer(s).
- Contact details of Banking Ombudsman of the area.
- The customers will have following specific rights under this policy.
i) To receive an acknowledgement of their complaint within three days/to receive a complaint reference number when the complaint is made over telephone.
ii) Customer's complaint would be resolved within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the complaint. In case resolution of complaint needs more time, we shall inform the reasons to the customer why more time is needed to resolve the complaint.
These provisions would be prominently displayed in all branches/ office premises.
4. Resolution of Grievance
The Branch Manager is responsible for the resolution of complaints/grievances in respect of customer service by the branch. He would be responsible for ensuring closure of all complaints received at the branches. It would be his foremost duty to ensure that the complaint gets resolved completely to the customer's satisfaction. If the customer is not satisfied, then he should be provided with alternate avenues to escalate the complaint. If the branch manager feels that it is not possible at his level to resolve the problem, he will refer the case to Zonal Office concerned for guidance. If the Zonal Office also finds that they are not able to resolve the problem such cases will be referred to their Circle Office for guidance. Similarly, if the complaint warrants intervention of Head Office, the same may be escalated to Head Office by the Circle Office.
5. Interaction with customers
The bank recognizes the fact that the customer's expectation/ requirement/ grievances can be better fulfilled/redressed through personal interaction with customers by bank's staff. We shall arrange structured customer meets, once in a month, which would send a message to the customers that the bank cares for them and values their feedback/suggestions for improvement in customer service. Many of the complaints arise on account of lack of awareness among customers about bank services and such interactions would help the customers appreciate banking services better. The feedback from customers would be valuable input for revising products and services to meet customer requirements/needs.
6. Sensitizing operating staff on handling complaints
Staff would be properly trained for handling complaints. The bank is dealing with people and hence difference of opinion and areas of friction can arise. With an open mind and a smile on the face the bank's staff should be able to win the customer's confidence. It would be the responsibility of the Nodal Officers to ensure that internal machinery for handling complaints/grievances operates smoothly and efficiently at all levels. They should give feedback on training needs of staff at various levels to the HR Department of the bank.
7. Observance of Customer's Day every month at all levels of the Bank.
Branches will observe a customer's day on 15th of every Month along with the Branch Level Customer Service Meeting. Zonal Office will observe the Customer Day on Thursday of every 3rd week of the month and Circle Office will observe the Customer Day on Tuesday of 4th week of the month. Wherever the particular date/day is holiday the customer meet shall take place on the succeeding working day. This would provide enough room for the customers to ventilate their problems which would take care of many minor complaints against the bank at the grass root level.
8. Maintenance of Complaint Box/Register
All offices & branches of the Bank would maintain a complaint box/Register where customers can drop their complaints. All complaints have to be recorded in the Register. The complaint box would be placed in a suitable position where it would be easily visible and identifiable. The Complaint box will be opened daily by the branches.
9. Internal Ombudsman:
Bank will make the references to Internal Ombudsman for all the rejected and partially accepted complaints for examination emanating primarily from the highest level of bank's internal redressal machinery only i.e. PNO/NO as the case may be which has operational role in the Grievance Redressal.
Replies to complainants on receipt of internal Ombudsman comments shall be addressed primarily by the Bank mentioning explicitly that the complaint has also been examined by Internal Ombudsman. Only under such circumstances, where a resolution has been made by an IO with a complainant and the IO had obtained the resolution in writing signed by the complainant and furnished to the bank for records, a reply to the complainant may be issued by IO on behalf of the bank with an endorsement to the bank.
Pre-empting occurrence of customer grievances
Customer grievances provide valuable feedback on quality of service at branches and whether the initiatives taken by the Bank in technology and re-engineering of business processes are having the desired impact on business growth and improved customer satisfaction. The Bank also understands the importance of sensitizing staff to handling customer transactions / requests with courtesy, empathy and promptness. All branches shall form a customer service committee with representation of officers, award staff, subordinate staff, retired staff as well as customers as advised in this regard. The committee shall hold the meeting every month and deliberate on all issues relating to customer service at the branch and take suitable action as decided by the committee for improvement of customer service at the branch. Customer Relations Programmes shall be organized at all branches at least once in every quarter where staff and customers meet and interact freely on service related issues. While these shall be structured meets, the customers will also be free to meet the Branch Managers/ other Officials at Administrative Offices to discuss their grievances. The Bank shall also conduct training programmes regularly for staff on customer service and minimizing customer grievances. The Bank shall also conduct customer satisfaction surveys periodically to understand customers' perception of UCO Bank's service and to identify priority areas for improvement of customer satisfaction.
Amendment / modification of Policy:
Bank reserves the right to amend/modify this policy as and when deemed fit and proper, at its sole discretion.