There would be very few people who would have no complaints with a bank. If there is someone like that, well they would be a part of a very small, rare breed of people.
There is a very interesting study of how our complaints against the banks have evolved over a period of time as population increases, more and more people bank today than before, the reach and spread of banks have grown and functionalities or the customer interface have evolved.
So here is a quick look: It is a perfect reflection of how times have changed.
- In 1999-2000, the Ombudsman office received 6800 complaints and over the last two decades to hit 1.63 lakh in FY18.
- The Ombudsman dealt with 1.75 lakh complaints in the twelve months till June 2018.
- Over the last three years, customer complaints have risen by about 25% each year.
- Fifty percent of the complaints came from urban areas
- Earlier in 2000s, most complaints were linked to deposit accounts, loans and delays in cheque clearances.
- Today, customers are more likely to complain about banks not adhering to fair practices, troubles with credit and debit cards and, most recently, issues that crop up during use of digital banking.
- In FY18, complaints about ATM/Credit/Debit Cards, taken together, made by 22.8% of all complaints while complaints on violation of the fair practices code made up 22.1% of all grievances.
- Of the 7.7% of the credit card related complaints received during the year, 30% pertained to wrong billing / debits, 8% to wrong / delayed reporting / non-updating credit status with credit information to Credit Information Bureau and 5%to threatening calls /inappropriate approach of recovery agents.
- Complaints about loan and deposit accounts, which dominated in the earlier years, only make up 8% of grievances now.
- In FY18, 63% of the total complaints were against PSU banks and 26% against private banks.
- SBI, post its merger had the highest complaints and in the private sector, other than those linked to credit and debit cards, complaints were highest at Dhanlakshmi Bank followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank.