RBI Ombudsman Scheme: Features, Benefits, and How to File a Complaint 

RBI Ombudsman Scheme

RBI Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (2021) is a combination of three Ombudsman Schemes which are the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (2006), the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Financial Companies (2018), and the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions (2019). This scheme came into effect on 12 November 2021. Under this, the customers of RBI Regulated Entities (REs) like Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), Credit Information Companies etc can register their complaints at one centralised point with the Ombudsman. If you face any issue while availing services from a bank, you can report the same to the ombudsman. Let’s understand how RBI Integrated Ombudsman Scheme 2021 can help you if your bank is rejecting your applications without a valid reason. 

Also Read: Explore the RBI Restructuring 2.0 Scheme FAQs: eligibility, loan types, application process, credit score impact and more in our blog. 

What is RBI Ombudsman Scheme?

RBI Ombudsman Scheme is like a complaint resolution system offered to customers. The schemes resolve complaints and grievances related to ‘deficiency in service’ on the part of REs. This enables the process of grievance redressal in a speedy, cost-effective, and satisfactory manner. 

The three schemes which are the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (2006), the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Financial Companies (2018), and the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions (2019) had limited coverage of complaints of REs. They also had jurisdiction-related restrictions which led to integrating these three schemes into one Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (2021). 

Any student or a regular banking customer facing ‘any shortcoming or inadequacy in any financial service’ which the Regulated Entity is required to provide, but is unable to do so which may or may not result in your financial loss- can file a complaint under this scheme. 

You can learn more about RBI guidelines on Education loans here. 

Features of the RBI Ombudsman Scheme

The RBI under the Ombudsman Scheme 2021 created a provision for the use of Artificial Intelligence for banks and investigation Let’s have a look at the peculiarities of this scheme- 

  • Filing complaints under the Ombudsman Scheme does not involve any charges to be paid by the customers.
  • Consumers can file complaints online through CMS (Complaint Management System), making the process speedy, accessible, and convenient. 
  • The Scheme adopts a ‘One Nation One Ombudsman’ approach by making the RBI-appointed Ombudsman jurisdiction neutral. 
  • An Independent Ombudsman reviews the complaints impartially and works towards providing fair resolution between the REs and customers. 
  • The scheme provides an informal and straightforward procedure that does not involve any legal formalities. 
  • Customers dissatisfied with the Ombudsman review and resolution can further appeal to the Appellate Authority. In place of the Ombudsman, RBI’s Executive Director in charge of the Consumer Education and Protection Department (CEPD) will further review the process. 

How Does the Ombudsman Scheme Work?

Mahesh took an education loan from XYZ Bank. The bank sanctioned the loan amount but during loan disbursal deducted the processing charges twice. He informed the bank and filed a complaint with them. After waiting for more than 30 days the bank still did not provide any resolution to Mahesh. To settle the situation, he further filed an online complaint with the Ombudsman. 

The ombudsman, who is an independent person reviewed the complaint filed by Mahesh (a dissatisfied customer). He provided a fair resolution of his complaints by fairly coordinating between Mahesh and his simultaneous REs without any legal proceedings. 

The Reserve Bank- Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS 2021) provides cost-free rectification of customer grievances involving service deficiencies by Regulated Entities under RBI. This is done only if the REs are unable to solve customer complaints satisfactorily or fail to reply within 30 days.

How to file a Complaint with the RBI Ombudsman?

There are 2 ways in which a customer can lodge their complaints with the Ombudsman. It includes applying online on the Complaint Management System of RBI, by physically visiting the centre or by sending a complaint letter/ post. 

  • Online- Visit cms.rbi.org.in to file a complaint online.
  • Physical Complaint- File a complaint through letter/ post in the form specified in Annexure A. Then, post it to the ‘Centralised Receipt and Processing Centre 4th Floor, Reserve Bank of India, Sector -17, Central Vista, Chandigarh – 160017’. 

Please note- 

  • If a customer doesn’t file a complaint with the RE and directly lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman, it would make the complaint non-maintainable. 
  • The complaint also gets automatically rejected if you approach the RBI Ombudsman before 30 days of lodging your complaint with the RE. 

Also Read: Many students from low-income families benefit from schemes on Education Loan. Learn about the benefits of Interest Subsidy Schemes on Education Loans in our blog.   

What REs are Covered under the Scheme?

The RB-IOS 2021 covers the grievance redress process only for customers of Regulated Entities (REs) under the RBI. This includes banks, Scheduled (Urban)and Non-Scheduled (Urban) Primary Co-operative Banks, Payment System Participants (PSPs), and Credit Information Companies. 

Registered Entities (REs)Details
BanksPublic Sector BanksPrivate Sector BanksForeign Banks Local Area BanksSmall Finance BanksPayment BanksRegional Rural BanksScheduled (Urban) Primary Co-operative Banks
Non-Scheduled Primary (Urban) Co-operative BanksWith a deposit size of INR 50 crores and above
Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) Registered with RBIAll NBFCs excluding Housing Finance Companies
Payment System Participants (PSPs)Banks as well as non-banks regulated by RBI 
Credit Information CompaniesAll Credit Information Companies that are defined in the Companies Act, of 2013 granted a Certificate of Registration under sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, of 2005. 

FAQs on the RBI Ombudsman Scheme

What is the RBI Ombudsman Scheme?

The RBI Ombudsman Scheme is a complaint resolution system for customers who are dissatisfied with the ‘deficiency in services’ of the REs. They can file complaints with the RBI-appointed Ombudsman and get their complaints resolved without any legal formalities. 

Who is an RBI Ombudsman?

The RBI-appointed Ombudsman is a senior official who is responsible for grievance redressal fairly and impartially by being jurisdiction-neutral. 

What are the three RBI Integrated Ombudsman schemes?

The three Ombudsman Schemes the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (2006), the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Financial Companies (2018), and the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions (2019) are integrated into one Ombudsman Scheme of 2021. 

What are the benefits of the RBI Ombudsman Scheme 2021?

The RB-IOS 2021 helps in the fair resolution of complaints by customers against RBI Regulated Entities (REs) without any legal proceedings. This will ensure user-friendly mechanisms and bring customer delight and financial inclusion to the scheme. 

What should I do if I am not satisfied with the RBI Ombudsman resolution?

In case of a dissatisfactory decision by the RBI-appointed Ombudsman, you can appeal to the Appellate Authority. The RBI’s Executive Director in charge of the Consumer Education and Protection Department (CEPD) will further look into the matter

This was all about the RBI Integrated Ombudsman Scheme 2021. It helps in resolving customer complaints if you are dissatisfied with the services or complaint redressal cell of the REs in your resolution matter. It doesn’t involve any legal proceedings and makes it hassle-free for you to seek clarity with your banking ombudsman. 

To know more about the loan application process, the best bank accounts for students, forex and banking experience for global students or international money transfers, reach out to our experts at 1800572126 to help ease your study abroad experience. 

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About Shubhika Garg

Hey there! I'm Shubhika- a proud graduate in English Literature and Language from Delhi University. My journey as a content writer transitioned from online teacher into the world of words. Stepping into the domain of blogs and articles, I discovered my passion for writing growing deeper and stronger. Having said that, I have experience of writing for diverse industries in automobile, technology, ed-tech, finance and mental-health; crafting details to help you find the solution to what you are looking for. Join me as I invite you all explore and learn together.

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