RBI asks banks to display key information at branches
The display of information by banks in their branches is one of the modes of imparting financial education. This display enables customers to make informed decision regarding products and services of the bank and be aware of their rights as also the obligations of the banks to provide certain essential services. It also disseminates information on public grievance redressal mechanism and enhances the quality of customer service in banks and improves the level of customer satisfaction.
2. Further, in order to promote transparency in the operations of banks, various instructions have been given by RBI to banks towards display of various key aspects such as service charges, interest rates, services offered, product information, time norms for various banking transactions and grievance redressal mechanism. However, during the course of inspection/visits to bank branches by RBI, it was observed that many banks were not displaying the required information due to space constraints, lack of standardization of the instructions etc.
3. Keeping in view the need for maintaining a good ambience at the branches as also space constraints, an Internal Working Group in RBI revisited all the existing instructions relating to display boards by commercial banks so as to rationalize them. Based on the recommendations of the Working Group, RBI in it's notification dated 22 August 2008, issued the following instructions to banks:
(I) Notice Boards
4. The Group felt that rationalization of the existing instructions could be best achieved if the instructions were clubbed on certain categories such as ‘customer service information', 'service charges', 'grievance redressal' and 'others'. At the same time, the Group felt that there may not be any need to place detailed information in the Notice Board and only the important aspects or 'indicators' to the information be placed.
5. Accordingly, the existing mandatory instructions have been broadly grouped into four categories mentioned above and given in a Comprehensive Notice Board which has been formulated by the above Group. The format of the Comprehensive Notice Board is given in the Annexure. The minimum size of the Board may be 2 feet by 2 feet as Board of such a size would facilitate comfortable viewing from a distance of 3 to 5 meters. Banks are advised to display the information in the Notice Boards of their Branches as per the format given for the Comprehensive Notice Board.
6. While displaying the information in the notice board, banks may also adhere to the following principles:
(a) The notice board may be updated on a periodical basis and the board should indicate the date upto which the board was updated (incorporated in the display board)
(b) Though the pattern, colour and design of the board is left to the discretion of the banks, yet the display must be simple and readable.
(c) The language requirements (i.e., bilingual in Hindi speaking states and trilingual in other states) may be taken into account.
(d) The notice board shall specifically indicate wherever recent changes have been done. For instance, if there is a recent change in the SSI loan products offered by the bank, the information on the SSI loan products may be displayed as 'We offer SSI loans/products ( changed on ……….)’.
(e) The notice board may also indicate a list of items on which detailed information is available in booklet form.
7. Further, in addition to the above Board, the banks should also display details such as ‘Name of the bank / branch, Working Days, Working Hours and Weekly Off-days' outside the branch premises.
8. The detailed information as indicated in Para (E) of the Notice Board may be made available in various booklets / brochures as decided by the bank. These booklets / brochures may be kept in a separate file / folder in the form of ‘replaceable pages’ so as to facilitate copying and updation. In this connection, banks may also adhere to the following broad guidelines:
The file / folder may be kept at the customer lobby in the branch or at the ‘May I Help You‘ counter or at a place that is frequented by most of the customers.
The language requirements (i.e. bilingual in Hindi speaking states and trilingual in other states) may be taken into account.
While printing the booklets it may be ensured that the font size is minimum Arial 10 so that the customers are able to easily read the same.
Copies of booklets may be made available to the customers on request
9. The detailed information as indicated in Para (E) of the Notice Board may also be made available on the bank’s web-site. Banks should adhere to the broad guidelines relating to dating of material, legibility etc. while placing the same on their websites.
In this context, banks are also advised to ensure that the customers are able to easily access the relevant information from the Home Page of the bank’s web-sites. Further, there are certain information relating to service charges and fees and grievance redressal that are to be posted compulsorily on the websites of the bank. Reserve Bank is providing a link to the websites of banks so that customers can also have access to the information through RBI’s website.
(IV) Other modes of display.
10. Banks may also consider displaying all the information that have to be given in the booklet form in the touch screen by placing them in the information kiosks. Scroll Bars, Tag Boards are other options available. The above broad guidelines may be adhered to while displaying information using these modes.
(V) Other issues:
11. Banks are free to decide on their promotional and product information displays. However, the mandatory displays may not be obstructed in anyway. As customer interest and financial education are sought to be achieved by the mandatory display requirements, they should also be given priority over the other display boards. Information relating to Government sponsored schemes as applicable location-wise may be displayed according to their applicability.
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