KARACHI: Banking Mohtasib Pakistan provided Rs598 million worth of relief to consumers after addressing various complaints against banks during the last year, an official said on Thursday.The...
KARACHI: Banking Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Pakistan provided Rs598 million worth of relief to consumers after addressing various complaints against banks during the last year, an official said on Thursday.
The office disposed 21,360 complaints out of 25,528 in 2020, Banking Mohtasib Pakistan Kamran Shehzad told a news conference at the Institute of Bankers Pakistan. He unveiled the Annual Report 2020 of Banking Mohtasib Pakistan (BMP).
Total 22,750 new complaints were received in 2020 whereas 2,778 complaints were brought forward from 2019, according to the report
Shehzad said out of 25,528 complaints, 16,123 complaints were resolved amicably through reconciliation, 166 complaints were decided after formal hearings and orders passed accordingly, while 5,071 complaints were disposed of/rejected for being incomplete, frivolous and lacking jurisdiction and 4,168 complaints remained outstanding as on December 31, 2020.
Shehzad said the office disposed of 12,861 complaints out of 15,639 in 2019. New complaints received in the year 2019 were 14,587 while 1,052 complaints were carried forward from 2018. Rs260 million relief was provided to the banking customers in 2019.
Shehzad said 56 percent increase was observed in the receipt of complaints during 2020 compared with the last year. In spite of Covid-19, the office has succeeded in maintaining the regular pace of disposing of complaints, while adhering to the prescribed Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
A number of measures have been advised to the central bank for further speedy resolution of banking customers’ complaints. These include reduction in the notice period of complaints for complainants from 45 to 15 days, he said.
“Amendments may be made in the relevant clause of Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962 so that the complainant may be allowed to submit an undertaking instead of an attestation by the Oath Commissioner,” the report said.
Master circular on internet banking/fund transfer incorporating all the instructions /modifications may be issued by the SBP to facilitate banks and all other stakeholders.
“Suspension of a circular regarding biometric verification of account holders may be lifted, if considered appropriate or some alternate for biometric verification may be introduced to reduce / avoid miseries of innocent account holders,” said the report. “Data on all consumer complaints may be consolidated for effective analysis.”
Banking Mohtasib office has also recommended to the government to make some amendments in the Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reforms Act, 2013 for the benefit of banking customers.
Shehzad said the office is also planning to upgrade its information system by introducing a user friendly online portal. It would provide convenience to the complainants to lodge and track their complaints through online portal and mobile application.