(A) Performance Snapshot
Let us first take a summary look at the complaints handled by the three Offices of Banking Ombudsmen and the decisions given by them on those complaints:
|How Complaints Were Decided|
|1st July 2012 to 31st December 2012|
|Particulars||Jaipur BO||Chandigarh BO||New Delhi BO|
|Non-Maintainable Complaints (Number)||553||699||2219|
|Non-Maintainable Complaints (Percentage)||30%||43%||53%|
|Non-Maintainable Being First Resort||57|
|Maintainable Complaints (Number)||1283||908||1960|
|Maintainable Complaints (Percentage)||70%||57%||47%|
|Maintainable but Rejected (Number)||455||411||1055|
|Maintainable but Rejected (Percentage)||35%||45%||54%|
|Awards Passed Against Banks||11||NIL||12|
|Mutual Settlement (Number)||817||497||893|
|Mutual Settlement (Percentage)||64%||55%||45%|
Before we analyse this table, we need to be clear about what a "Maintainable Complaint" is. When a complaint is received by an office of Banking Ombudsman, it is examined to decide it the complaint is eligible for consideration under Banking Ombudsman Scheme (See Banking Ombudsman Scheme here). If a complaint is found to be eligible and is admitted for resolution, it is called a maintainable complaint. Maintainable complaints are sent to the concerned banks for resolution / comments. The bank's reply is examined and if a deficiency is found on the part of the bank, the concerned bank is asked to resolve the complaint. If no deficiency is found on the part of the bank, the complaint is rejected.
If an office of Banking Ombudsman finds a complaint to be outside the purview of Banking Ombudsman Scheme, or if the complainant has sent the complaint directly to Banking Ombudsman without having complained in writing to the concerned bank (First Resort Complaint), such a complaint is called "Non-maintainable Complaint".
We also need to know the area of jurisdiction of the three Banking Ombudsman offices compared in this article. Jaipur BO has jurisdiction over the entire State of Rajasthan. Chandigarh BO's area of jurisdiction covers the entire states of Punjab & Himachal Pradesh, the Union Territory of Chandigarh, and three districts of Haryana State - Ambala, Panchkula, and Yamunanagar. New Delhi BO has jurisdiction over Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana (except the districts of Ambala , Yamuna Nagar and Panchkula), and the districts of Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar of Uttar Pradesh.
Here's my analysis of the above Table:
1. Jaipur BO found 30% complaints non-maintainable (not eligible under the BO Scheme). The percentage of complaints considered as non-maintainable by Chandigarh BO was 43% whereas New Delhi BO treated 53% complaints as non-maintainable. Share of First Resort Complaints in total non-maintainable complaints was not very significant at 3.10% for Jaipur BO, 7.22% for Chandigarh BO, and 8% for New Delhi BO. First Resort Complaints for Chandigarh and New Delhi BO were almost at the same level - 7.22% and 8%, but the percentage of complaits rejected as non-maintainable by New Delhi BO was very high at 53% as compared to 43% rejected by Chandigarh BO.
2. Out of the 1960 complaints found maintainable by New Delhi BO, 54% complaints were closed in favour of the banks, meaning no deficiency was found in banking service. Chandigarh BO closed 45% (out of 908) maintainable complaints in favour of the banks whereas Jaipur BO closed only 35% (out of 1283) maintainable complaints in favour of the banks.
3. Jaipur BO seemed to have made the most efforts at promoting an amicable settlement between the banks and the complainants as the percentage of complaints closed by mutual settlement was highest at 64% for Jaipur BO. Chandigarh BO could achieve mutual settlement for 55% complaints whereas New Delhi BO could achieve the lowest among the three - 45%.
4. Jaipur BO passed 11 Awards against banks whereas New Delhi BO passed 12 Awards during the six month period. Chandigarh BO did not pass a single Award against any bank. Here a comparison between Jaipur and Chandigarh BO will be very relevant. Chandigarh BO did not pass any Award against any bank but on the other hand rejected more complaints as non-maintainable, rejected more maintainable complaints and could achieve far lesser mutual settlements as compared to Jaipur BO.
Jaipur BO (Mr. N. P. Topno) emerged as the most People Friendly BO on all the parameters whereas New Delhi BO (Mr. M. Rajeshwara Rao) emerged as the most Bank Friendly BO on all the parameters. Chandigarh BO (Mr. Jaimal Tashi) was less people friendly than the Jaipur BO and also a little less bank friendly than the New Delhi BO.
My Legal Advice
I would sincerely advise all those members of public who feel wronged because their complaints were rejected by the New Delhi BO and Chandigarh BO during July and December 2012 to use RTI Act, 2005 and call for copies of all office notes recorded on their complaints and all the correspondence entered into between the BO and the concerned bank. Maybe you will find something interesting.