The committee, chaired by M Damodaran, has prepared the report. But members of the panel (a few top banking luminaries are on its board) are not aware of when the report will be finalised and whether there are any changes. Mr Damodaran, however, says that he is in the process of redrafting the report and that “it should be out in the next ten days”
A committee set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look into the issues of customer services, has prepared its report and has been waiting for the final take from Mr M Damodaran, head of the committee.
Despite the report being ready, it has not been finalised for reasons best know to Mr Damodaran, say informed sources.
In fact, because of the long silence, the committee members are not even aware if there will be further meetings and modifications to their recommendations.
According to sources, the report has apparently been submitted in late January to Mr Damodaran and the committee is waiting for his final go-head.
"After submitting the report to Mr Damodaran in January, we are also waiting for the report to be released and we are not aware when it will be released," one of the members of the committee told Moneylife.
Ashok Rawat, one of the members of the committee and Hon Secretary of the All-India Bank Depositors' Association (Mumbai) had earlier confirmed to Moneylife that the report was supposed to be released in mid-February.
"The Damodaran Committee will table the report on customer services by the 15th of this month. If the logistics are properly taken care of, we may even see the report being released earlier-before the 10th of this month," Ashok Rawat had told Moneylife on 7th February. (See: Damodaran Committee may release final report on customer service in banks by mid-February )
However, a senior RBI official informed that "the report is being finalised."
"The committee is preparing the report and it will be finalised within the next one month," P J Mathkar, assistant general manager, customer service department (from RBI's central office, Mumbai), told Moneylife.
Kaza Sudhakar, chief general manager, customer service department, RBI and member-secretary of the committee refused to offer any comments, and asked Moneylife to speak to the head of the committee (Mr Damodaran).
In response to our query, Mr Damodaran said "All we have just now is a draft report, or working paper. This is the first important report on the customer services after the MN Goiporia report. Our committee met a lot of stakeholders and we want to make sure that their views are properly represented in the report. I am in the process of redrafting it and the report should be out in the next ten days."
According to our sources, banks do not want the report to be released as it has recommended many pro-consumer suggestions, which will increase pressure on banks for better customer services.
The committee is expected to undertake a strict review of the existing system of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and attending to customer service in banks, including the approach, attitude and fair treatment to customers from retail, small and pensioners segments. The committee was also asked to evaluate the existing system of grievance redressal mechanism prevalent in banks, its structure and efficacy and recommend measures for expeditious resolution of complaints.
The committee may also lay down a suitable timeframe for disposal of complaints including the last escalation point within that timeframe.
M Rajyalakshmi Rao, former member, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi; MV Nair, chairman, Indian Banks Association and CMD, Union Bank of India, Mumbai; BM Mittal, CEO, BCSBI, Mumbai; MS Sundara Rajan, former CMD, Indian Bank, Chennai and S Gopalalakrishnan, former Banking Ombudsman, Chennai, are the members of the committee.
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