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The Reserve Bank of India has told banks and other financial intermediaries to plug deficiencies in customer grievance mechanism and ensure fair pricing of products and services, transparency in dealing with customers and avoid mis-selling.

Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the central bank’s assessment of grievances received at RBI offices revealed gaps in systems and procedures in financial institutions.

“We have brought such deficiencies to the notice of the individual banks and NBFCs. Our effort is to work with the regulated entities and rectify such deficiencies,” Das said at the annual conference of RBI Ombudsman held in Mumbai.

The focus of the top management of regulated entities should be on nurturing a customer-centric approach and commitment to consumer protection, the governor said.

“Regulations only provide a framework within which financial institutions operate, but the effectiveness of the regulations ultimately depends upon how they are actually implemented by the regulated entities,” he said.

Decision-making by consumers has become all the more challenging with the increasing range and complexity of financial products and services.

“Fair treatment of customers would mean fair pricing of products and services, putting in place systems and procedures for transparency in dealing with customers and avoidance of mis-selling,” he said, adding that fair treatment and effective grievance redress mechanism would enhance public trust in the financial system as well as in individual entities.

“This in turn, would contribute to the long term success of individual entities and promote financial inclusion. Our endeavor in the Reserve Bank has been to include these principles in the various regulatory measures being undertaken from time to time,” the Governor added.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for complementing customer service through personalised interaction, chatbots and virtual assistants tailored to specific products also underscores the need of appropriate safeguards otherwise this may lead to compromise of customer data.

Deployment of AI in prevention of frauds, identity verification, vulnerability mitigation and data protection are still at nascent stages, Das said.

  • Published On Mar 15, 2024 at 07:59 PM IST

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