Mumbai: Customers filed the highest number of complaints against the country's largest lender SBI and its associates followed by ICICI and HDFC in 2010-11, a Banking Ombudsman report released by Reserve Bank said on Friday.
"Thirty one per cent of the total (71,274) complaints received were against SBI and Associates, followed by 29 per cent against nationalised banks, 24 per cent against private sector banks and 10 per cent against foreign banks," the RBI said in the annual report of banking ombudsman.
ATM cards, debit and credit card related complaints (24 per cent of total) continued to be the single largest area of grievances of customers.
However, as a whole, complaints against banks declined by 10 per cent in 2010-11 from 79,266 in the previous fiscal.
As per the report, there were 22,307 complaints against SBI and its associates, 2,946 against PNB, 6,895 against ICICI Bank and 5,590 against HDFC Bank. There were 2,144 complaints against Standard Chartered Bank, 1,865 against HSBC, 629 against Barclays Bank and 967 against Citibank N.A.
Non-adherence to working hours, refusal to accept or delay in payments towards taxes, refusal to issue or delay in providing services were other complaints of customers.
Besides, the Ombudsman also received complaints related to redemption of Government securities. Refusal to close or delay in closing of accounts were other areas of complaints.
"Banking Ombudsmen disposed of 94 per cent of the total complaints received," the annual report said.
RBI introduced the Banking Ombudsman Scheme in 1995 to provide bank customers an expeditious and inexpensive forum for resolution of their complaints.
It said customers preferred physical mode of complaint to electronic mode which is evident from the fact that 73 per cent complaints were received by way of letters or fax.