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Home > Business > Special

How RBI helps the common man

Rishi Nathany | June 11, 2007

Various government agencies have been put in place to safeguard the interests of investors and the general public through regulatory authorities.

The Reserve Bank of India [Get Quote] or the banker's bank is the one which, perhaps, has the most impact on the life of normal people as it controls the purse strings of the banks and also indicates when loans need to get more expensive. Here we list a few that impacts your life directly.

Monetary authority: That is, formulation, implementation and monitoring of the monetary policy. It also indicates to the banking system if there is a need to increase or decrease rates on home loans, personal loans etc through its various tools.

Objective: To keep inflation under control while ensuring adequate flow of credit to productive sectors at affordable rates of interest.

Regulator: Prescribes broad guidelines for proper functioning of the banking and financial system.

Objective: To provide smooth and affordable banking facilities to the public, while protecting the interests of investors and depositors and maintaining public confidence in the financial system.

Within this realm, the RBI covers bank deposits, loans and advances, credit cards, bank accounts and various financial products offered by banks and non-banking financial companies.

Foreign exchange: Manages foreign exchange remittances and dealings.

Objective: To enable citizens to invest abroad within prescribed limits, receive gifts or remittances from overseas; procure forex for vacations and expenses etc.

Issuer of currency: Issues fresh currency and exchanges or destroys currency and coins not fit for circulation.

Objective: To give the public proper quality and quantity of currency notes and coins.

Banker to the government: Issues various bonds and administers schemes like the Senior Citizens Deposit Scheme, Public Provident Fund on behalf of the government and controls the debt markets.

Objective: Provides the government much needed resources and investors a suitable investment avenue, by selling such bonds and instruments to investors who prefer government guaranteed debt instruments.

How can one approach the apex bank? This can be done through the 'Grievance Redressal' mechanism under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, where the aggrieved parties can approach the designated authority for redressal of their grievances against all banks in India.  These include among others:

  • Credit cards complaints
  • Excessive or unjustified service charges
  • Non-acceptance of notes and coins
  • Default on promises made by sales agents
  • Refusal to open or close accounts or deposits
  • Delays or defaults in delivery
  • Foreign remittances

Complainants can file their complaints with the Banking Ombudsman Office. However, in case of credit card complaints, the application should be filed with the Banking Ombudsman having territorial jurisdiction over the billing address of the credit card holder and not the credit card issuer.

However, consumers can only file complaints for grievances which have not been satisfactorily addressed by the banks after due correspondence.

They have the option to file their complaints in any form, including online, along with all the supporting documents. The banking ombudsman goes into the details of the case and tries to settle the complaint by conciliation and mediation between the parties involved.

In case this is elusive, the Banking Ombudsman may pass an award against the bank or reject the complaint, depending on its merit.

Customers would be able to appeal to the RBI against the awards or rejection made by the Banking Ombudsman. For details, visit

The writer is director of Touchstone Wealth Planners.

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