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'India has adequate forex to manage challenges'

By BS Reporter
July 15, 2015 12:20 IST
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ForexIndia has reasonable level of foreign exchange reserves to deal with the current market situation, according to Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor S S Mundra.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar by the Banking Code and Standards Board of India, Mundra said the developments in Greece would not have any major impact on India.

India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by $704 million to $354.517 billion in the week ended July 3 on account of a fall in foreign currency assets, according to RBI data.

In the previous week, the reserves had declined by $237.5 million to $355.221 billion after touching an all-time high of $355.46 in the fortnight ended June 19.

There is no mathematical formula to determine the right level of foreign exchange reserves, Mundra said.

“We should always be opportunistic on this (building reserves) and take careful look at its costs.”

The entry of new banks should be a wake-up call for existing players to improve customer service, the RBI deputy governor said.

RBI is slated to issue licences for specialised banks -- payments banks and small finance banks -- later this year.

Usha Thorat, former deputy governor of RBI, is chairing the External Advisory Committee to evaluate applications for small finance banks.

Nachiket Mor, director, central board, RBI, is heading the EAC for payments banks. Around 100 entities have applied for small finance and payments banks.

On improving customer service, Mundra said RBI had released a Charter of Customer Rights for banks to adopt.

The regulator has already asked banks to appoint chief customer relations officers (banking ombudsman).

RBI would soon issue operational guidelines for appointing these officers.

Last year, RBI had received 85,000 customer complaints through banking ombudsman.

The single largest source of complaints (29 per cent of total complaints) was non-compliance with BCSBI code, followed by complaints about automated teller machine and debit cards.

These areas should become the focus for improvement, Mundra added.

According to Mundra, urban customers are technologically savvy and can articulate their case in case of complaints about banking services.

Mundra said most complaints come through electronic channels (emails and messages) and from metropolitan/urban areas.

Customers in the rural and semi-urban areas might be silent sufferers, he noted.

He added that banks should create a mechanism to analyse the root cause of complaints.

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BS Reporter in Mumbai
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