Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 under Reserve Bank of India

Banking Ombudsman scheme is a legal authorization that was created to follow up decisions taken by the Government of India to facilitate tenacity of complaints by the consumers of the Banks about several services provided by the banks. The Banking Ombudsman scheme was initially introduced in the year 1995 in India, and it was again re-launched in 2002. The new system came into work from January 1, 2006, and it replaced and outdated the old scheme. Almost thirty-six thousand complaints were registered and solved from 2002 to 2006 under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. Twenty-two regional offices are regulated under this scheme. 

Then, later on, Reserve Bank of India or RBI introduced the Ombudsman Scheme again for Digital Transactions in 2019. The scheme offers a cost-free and prompt complaint reimbursement system to solve the problems regarding the digital transactions done by non-bank entities synchronized by the Reserve Bank of India. The scheme is initiated under Section 18, "Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, which came into effect from January 31, 2019.

Features of Ombudsman scheme

  • Excessive Delay or Non-Payment for the payment or assortment of drafts, bills, cheques, etc.
  • Non-payment or acceptance without any satisfactory cause, of small value, notes given for any reason, and for charging of commission for this service;
  • Without enough cause, non-acceptance, of coins given and charged for payment of the services.
  • Delay in payment or non-payment while paying the inward remittances.
  • Delay in issue or failure in the matter of drafts, cheques, and amount of orders.
  • Non-adherence to given working hours.
  • Failure to honor a guarantee or letter of credit commitments.
  • Failure to provide or delay in providing a banking facility other than loan and advances promised in writing by a bank or its direct selling agents.
  • Delays, non-credit of proceeds to parties' accounts, non-payment of deposit or non-observance of the Reserve Bank directives, if any, applicable to rate of interest on deposits in any savings, current or other account maintained with a bank.
  • Delays in receipt of export proceeds, handling of export bills, collection of statements, etc., for exporters, provided the said complaints pertain to the bank's operations in India.
  • Refusal to open deposit accounts without any valid reason for the rejection.
  • Levying of charges without adequate prior notice to the customer.
  • Non-adherence by the bank or its subsidiaries to the instructions of Reserve Bank on ATM/debit card operations or credit card operations.
  • Non-disbursement or delay in disbursement of pension to the extent the grievance can be attributed to the action on the part of the bank concerned, (but not about its employees).
  • Refusal to accept or delay in receiving payment towards taxes, as required by Reserve Bank/Government.
  • Refusal to issue or suspend in issuing, or failure to service or delay in servicing or redemption of Government securities. 
  • Forced closure of deposit accounts without due notice or without sufficient reason.         
  • Closure of account without customer concern.
  • Refusal to close or delay in closing the accounts.
  • Non-adherence to the fair practices code as adopted by the bank; and
  • Financial loss incurred to customers due to wrong information given by bank officials.
  • Any other matter relating to the violation of the directives issued by the Reserve Bank about banking or other services.
  • Complaints from Non-Resident Indians having accounts in India about their remittances from abroad, deposits, and other bank-related matters. 


The complaint will be considered based on the following rules:

  • If the participant of the system who has the charge against him doesn't qualify under this scheme.
  • If the person has not contacted the system participant in the first case for solving the related query.
  • If the purpose of the complaint filed is not under the charges mentioned under the clauses of the scheme.
  • If the person has not filed the claim within a year from the date of receipt of reply from the System Participant; or there is no reply given, and the Ombudsman is done after the lapse of more than a year and one month from the date of complaint to the system participant.
  • If the reason for the claim is pending for clearance / has already been done with any other forum like the court of law and consumer court etc.
  • If the charge is for the similar subject reason that was established through the office of the Ombudsman in any previous proceedings
  • If the complaint is thoughtless or vexatious.
  • The criticism falls under the debates covered under Section 24 of the Payment and Settlement Act, 2007.
  • If the charge exists to dispute coming from a transaction between the customers.

Documents Required

The following documents are required to file a complaint:

  • Name and the address of the complainant.
  • Name and address of the office or branch which have the complaint against them.
  • Proofs and facts concerning the complaint.
  • The extent and details about the loss happened.
  • The demanded relief.
  • A declaration that the complaint is genuine.

Rejection of the Complaint

On the following grounds, a complaint can be rejected-

  • If the complaint is baseless and not as per the rules.
  • If it is not according to the sub-clause.
  • The reimbursement asked for is more than the limit given as per the rules.
  • If the complaint is made without any proper reason.
  • If there is no proper evidence or the facts are inappropriate.
  • If the complaint does not have any reasonable diligence by the complainant.
  • If the Ombudsman decides that there is no harm, loss, or inconvenience caused.

You will be able to find more details about this scheme on RBI official website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Ombudsman scheme?

Reserve Bank of India or RBI introduced the Ombudsman Scheme again for Digital Transactions in 2019. The scheme offers a cost-free and prompt complaint reimbursement system to solve the problems regarding the digital transactions done by non-bank entities synchronized by the Reserve Bank of India.

Q. When was the scheme launched?

The scheme was launched in 2006 by RBI.

Q. Who is the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions?

A senior officer hired by the RBI is the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions. 

Q. How many have Ombudsman for Digital Transactions been appointed so far?

21 Ombudsmen have been appointed so far in the state capitals of the country.

Q. What is the procedure for filing the complaint?

You can register a complaint with the Ombudsman by writing it on a paper and then sending it to the concerned office of the Ombudsman by hand or fax or post. You can also email the complaint. There is also a complaint form available, but it is not mandatory to use.

Q. Can I file a complaint by the authorized representative?

Yes, you can file a complaint via the authorized representative, you can also hire a lawyer.

Q. Do I have to pay for filing the complaint?

No, there is not any kind of fee charged for filing the complaint.