Fair Practice/ Customer Service Policy
Customer Service is a key focus area of the Bank. The Bank focuses on improving the customer experience and quality of operations consistently. The customers should be clearly apprised of the assurances of the Bank on the services on these aspects at the time of establishment of the initial relationship be it as a depositor, borrower or otherwise.This policy seeks to cover the guidelines for dealing with the customer service requirements under relevant situations and towards ensuring fair treatment to customers in all aspects with the Bank. The policy document shall include the regulatory requirements and leading market practices to enhance the customer experience and have better customer retention. This policy document shall cover all the provisions to be followed by the Bank branches and its employees with respect to the Citizen’s Charter, BCSBI Code of Commitment to customers and Fair Practice Code of IBA for Lenders.
The Bank, through its policy, aims to align customer service norms and procedures with the customers’ expectations of customers.The Bank’s intention is to provide each customer with a personalised, seamless experience that makes it easier for them to manage banking with the Bank. The key objectives of this policy are as follows: • Provide a comprehensive framework on the procedures relating to customer service Promote good and fair banking practices by setting minimum standards in dealings with customer • Increase transparency in the Bank’s dealings • Promote a fair and cordial relationship between customer and the Bank • Foster customer’s confidence in the Bank • Build trust in the formal banking channels • Provide customers with channels to reach out to the Bank in case of any issues or complaints.
The Policy applies to all the employees of the Bank whether directly or indirectly interacting with the Bank’s customers. The policy shall cover all products and services offered, whether they are provided by bank branches or Business Correspondents/ agents acting on behalf of the Bank, whether across the counter, over the phone, by post, through interactive electronic devices, on the internet or by any other method.
4. Key commitment to Fair Practice to customers
4.1. Fair treatment to customers
The Bank shall meet its commitments and standards set in this Code, for the products and services it offers, and in the procedures and practices it follows. The Bank shall make sure its products and services meet relevant laws and regulations in letter and spirit and are appropriate to customer needs. The Bank shall ensurethat dealings with the customer rest on ethical principles of integrity and transparency.
4.2. Transparent and honest dealing with customers (to prevent Mis-selling)
The Bank shall ensure that its advertising and promotional literature is clear and not misleading. The Bank shall ensure that the customer is given clear information about its productsand services, the terms and conditions and the interest rates/service charges, which apply to them. The Bank shall provide information on the facilities provided to the customer and how the customer can avail of these and whom and how they may contact for addressing their queries.
4.3. Providing customers necessary information
The Bank shall provide its customer with regular appropriate updates and display the following at its branches, for customer information • Services the Bank provides. • Minimum balance requirement, if any, for savings Bank accounts and current accounts and the charges for non- maintenance thereof. • Name of the official at the branch whom the customer shall approach in case of any grievance. The Bank shall keep its customers informed about changes in the interest rates, charges or terms and conditions.
4.4. Privacy of customer information
The Bank shall maintain secrecy that arises out of the contractual relationship between the Bank and the customer, and as such no information should be divulged to third parties except under circumstances as given below:
• Where disclosure is under compulsion of law or if required by the statutory/regulatory authorities
• Where there is duty to the public to disclose
• Where interest of Bank requires disclosure and
• Where the disclosure is made with the express or implied consent of the customer.
The Bank shall treat all customer personal information as private and confidential (even when customer relation ceases to exist) and shall not use customer information for marketing/ cross selling purposes by anyone including the Bank itself unless the customer specifically authorizes the Bank to do so.
4.5. Customer compensation and grievance redressal
The Bank shall correct its mistakes promptly and cancel any Bank charges that it may have applied by mistake and compensate the customer for any financial loss the customer may have incurred due to the Bank’s mistake, in terms of its compensationpolicy. The Bank shall handle customer complaints promptly and guide the customer on the procedure for taking the complaint forward in case the customer is not satisfied. The Bank shall provide suitable alternative avenues to alleviate problems arisingout of technological failures.
4.6. Non - Discrimination policy
The Bank shall not discriminate between its customers on any basis such as age, race, gender, marital status, religion, disability or financial status etc.
4.7. Feedback on Customer Service
The Bank shall conduct periodical Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSAT) at least once a quarter, and shall cover not less than 5% of the total customer-base at the material time. The CSAT Survey results shall be meticulously compiled to the possible degree of granularity and submitted to the Board through the Customer Service Committee of the Board of Directors.
4.8. Mechanism for Improvement of Customer Service
The Bank shall have a robust mechanism of reporting the MIS on Customer Service to HO from the various businesses and the regions. The MIS should be reviewed by the MANCO who shall suitably consider reviewing the underlying policies and procedures where relevant based on the MIS.
5. Customer service aspects in respect of deposits
The Bank shall display information on rates of interest, service charges and other fees on its website for all products. The branches of the Bank shall have a copy of the Tariff Schedule, the availability of which shall be notified by way of a notice on the Notice Board.
The Bank shall inform ‘all-in-cost’ to enable customers to compare the rates charges with other sources of finance. The Bank shall ensure that such charges/ fees are nondiscriminatory. The Bank shall inform its customers of changes in interest rates on its loan products and changes in the reference rate to which the floating rate of interest is linked within a fortnight of the decision by means such as letter, email or SMS. The Bank shall publicise this Code on its website suitably.
6. Third Party Products
The Bank shall sell third-party products like mutual funds or insurance subject to compliance with the extant rules and regulations.
The Bank shall inform its customers if the Bank, as agents of any investment/ asset management company or insurance company, offers any type of investment product including mutual funds or insurance products.
The Bank shall not compel the customer to purchase/ subscribe to any third party product when the customer avails a banking service or product from.
The Bank shall obtain the requisite application and documentation for a product offered only after the customer consents to subscribe/ avail of the product, in writing or through authenticated electronic means after necessary validation.The Bank shall ensure that the statement/ policy documents shall be delivered to its customers within 30 days from the completion of all the formalities.
The Bank shall arrange to provide maximum possible ‘After Sales Service'
7. Disclosure of Information
7.1. Branch Display
The branches shall display at a prominent place notice about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for persons with disabilities. The Bank shall display on the notice board in all branches the name and address of the Banking Ombudsman, name, address and telephone numbers of the officials handling the Grievance Redressal mechanism.
The Bank shall suitably display on their website the interest rate range of contracted loans for the past quarter for different categories of advances granted to individual borrowers along with mean interest rates for such loans. The total fees and charges applicable on various types of loans to individual borrower should be disclosed at the time of processing of loan as well as displayed on the website of the Bank for transparency and comparability and to facilitate informed decision making by customers. The Bank shall suitably place on its websites the instructions along with the policies / procedures put in place for giving access of the locker / safe custody articles to the nominee/ survivor/ Legal Heir of the deceased customer.Information like time norms for common transactions, complete service charges, including services rendered free of charge, Fair Practice Code design and security features of all the bank notes may be made available in various booklets / brochures and website.
The Bank shall make sure that all its advertising and promotional material is clear, and not misleading. The Bank shall suitably and appropriately communicate from time to time to its customer various features of its products availed by the customer by e-mail, SMS or over the telephone.Information about other products or promotional offers in respect of its products/services shall be conveyed to the customer only if they are not registered for the ‘Do Not Call’ facility.
8. Settlement of deceased Claims
The Bank shall incorporate a clause in the account opening form that premature termination of term deposits (without penalty) would be allowed in case of death of a customer. The Bank shall adopt a simplified procedure for repayment to legal heir(s) of the depositor where the deceased depositor had not made any nomination. Where the deceased depositor has made a nomination, the Bank shall comply with the regulatory guidelines regarding the same. The details of settlement of deceased depositor claims have been elaborated in the Deposit Policy of the Bank.
9. Record Keeping
The records pertaining to customer complaints shall be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years from the date of receipt. Further, the records shall be retained for at least 5 years after the end of the relationship of the customers so as to enable the reconstruction of the customer transactions/complaints for meeting any regulatory or statutory obligations. Where the records pertain to a litigation involving the customer’s accounts, then such records would be maintained for a period of 8 years on closure of said litigations.
10. Policy Review & Updates
This Board approved policy will be reviewed as and when required or at least on an annual basis for incorporating changes in handling Customer service policy and regulatory updates, if any.
11. Regulatory References
• RBI Master Circular on Customer Service in Banks dated July 01, 2015
• RBI Master Circular – Loans and Advances – Statutory and Other Restrictions dated July 1, 2015
• IBA Model Customer Rights Policy
• IBA Code of Banking Practice
• BCSBI Code of Commitment to Bank’s Customers