Awareness camp on banking held

Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, FEB 1 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/1/2019 12:35:35 PM IST


A banking awareness camp – “Banking Awareness Scheme of 2006” – was held for bank customers and representatives of different banks at Hotel Acacia here on Friday. It was organised by banking ombudsman office, Guwahati, to create awareness among bank account holders about their rights and means to address their grievances. 
In his key note address, general manager and banking ombudsman for North Eastern States Ashish Ranjan Samal apprised customers and bankers present of the redressal mechanisms of the banking ombudsman, which acts as a mediator to address grievances between a customer and the bank concerned, in case of delays and deficiencies in banking services. 
Samal revealed that in case an issue or complaint was addressed in 30 days, but the reply was unsatisfactory, the customer might send a letter or an e-mail to the banking ombudsman office of the region seeking further intervention. He, however, added that in case the complaint or the issue was in court or filed through an advocate, the request would be declined. 
“If the bank is at fault, you will be compensated. But if you approach the courts, your complaint won’t be accepted. This would lead to spending more money and time in long-drawn court cases,” he added. 
According to the banking ombudsman, customers in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura can e-mail their complaint to or register it online on Customers can be compensated up to Rs 21 lakh and another sum of up to Rs 1 lakh for mental harassment, depending on the nature of the grievance. The turnaround time for a resolution was two months, he added.
Samal outlined some grievances that could be addressed by his office like refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason, levying of charges without adequate prior notice, non-adherence by the bank and its subsidiaries to the instructions of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on ATM/debit or credit card operations, refusal or delay in accepting payments towards taxes (as required by RBI/government), forced closure of deposit accounts without due notice or sufficient reasons, etc. 
He also elucidated the compensation customers are entitled to in the event of a failed transaction. He revealed that they would be given an additional Rs 100 from the seventh to the 14th day, if a refund was not made. From the 16th to the 19th day, the customer would be paid the fixed deposit interest plus an additional 2%, he added. 
Samal said soiled and mutilated notes too were accepted in banks. For exchange of currency notes of denominations below Rs 20, a customer would get 100% of the value if 50% of the soiled note was intact. For denominations above Rs 20, a customer would get 100% value if 65% of the torn note was intact, half the value if more than 40% was intact and no exchange if less than 40% of the note was intact.  
On frauds related to crediting and debiting of funds, the banking ombudsman disclosed that around 30% of the complaints received by his office from the Northeast pertained to customers falling prey to fraudulent elements posing as bank executives. 
Also expressing dismay at how so many people entered an ATM booth at the same time, he cautioned customers to never reveal their PIN, adding that, if someone else used their card and a failed transaction occurred, they won’t be entitled to a refund. Samal also cautioned them against sharing their OTP, CVV and other card details over phone, taking help of strangers in withdrawing money from an ATM, writing their PINs and changing their PIN and net banking password every three to six months, while also advising them against using cyber cafes for net banking, as embedded software can store their bank details and passwords. 
On the issues of loan disbursals, he said the banks must give its customers a complete checklist of documents prior to approving loans. Mentioning that the time for disbursal of loans for amounts up to Rs 20 lakh was 30 days, he added that banks should also notify its customers stating the reason(s), in case a loan was rejected. 
An interactive session too was held where the following bank officials addressed queries of those present: assistant general manager and secretary, banking ombudsman, K Rajan Babu; manager (lead bank), RBI, Bhairab Kalita; and chief manager, RBI Dimapur, Hatneikim Gangte Imsong. 
Around 100 customers and bankers attended the awareness camp.

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