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Customer service in Banking Operations-
Report of RBI's Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit on Public Services

Customers of foreign and new private banks are discouraged by these banks from transacting through bank branches. These banks often refuse to give an acknowledgement on the deposit slip if the cheques are deposited at branch counters. Following instructions will bring relief to a large section of customers.

Cheque Drop Box Facility

RBI's Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit on Public Services has recommended that both the drop box facility and the facility for acknowledgement of the cheques at the regular collection counters should be available to customers and no branch should refuse to give an acknowledgement if the customer tenders the cheques at the counters. We agree with the recommendation and advise that it is important that there is no curtailment of the rights of the depositor to obtain an acknowledgement by going to the concerned counter.

Issue of Cheque Books

The Committee has observed that some banks do not allow depositors to collect their cheque book at the branch but insist on despatching the cheque book by courier to the depositor. Further, it is stated by the Committee that the depositor is forced to sign a declaration that a despatch by the courier is at the depositor's risk and consequence and that the depositor shall not hold the bank liable in any manner whatsoever in respect of such despatch of cheque book. Committee has observed this as an unfair practice and advised banks to refrain from obtaining such undertakings from depositors. Banks should also ensure that cheque books are delivered over the counters on request to the depositors or his authorised representative.

Statement of Accounts / Pass Books

The Committee has noted that banks invariably show the entries in depositors passbooks / statement of accounts as "By Clearing" or "By Cheque". Further, in the case of Electronic Clearing System (ECS) and RBI Electronic Funds Transfer (RBIEFTR) banks invariably do not provide any details even though brief particulars of the remittance is provided to the receiving bank. In some cases computerized entries use sophisticated codes which just cannot be deciphered.

With a view to avoiding inconvenience to depositors, banks are advised to avoid such inscrutable entries in passbooks / statements of account and ensure that brief, intelligible particulars are invariably entered in passbooks / statements of account. Banks may also ensure that they adhere to the monthly periodicity prescribed by us while sending statement of accounts.

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