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BCSBI to put customer service ratings of banks in public domain

Sunday, 29 June 2014 - 9:27pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

To make banks more focused towards customer service, Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) is planning to make public the ratings given to its member banks on the basis of level of code compliance.

BCSBI is an independent and autonomous body which evolves banking codes and standards related to customer rights and monitors adherence to those adopted by banks while delivering services to customers.

Although the process started last year, ratings were disclosed only to respective banks.

The ratings available in public domain last year were for overall categories such as private/public/foreign banks and not for individual banks.

"Last year, the ratings were only shared with individual member banks and it was displayed on our website as a group. But from this fiscal we are planning to put the ratings of individual banks in public domain," BCSBI Chairman A C Mahajan said.

If individual ratings are available in the public domain, it would ensure that banks would focus more on customer services covered under BCSBI codes in order to get a better quality certificate, he said.

However, he was quick to add that ratings given are not to be used by member banks to say they are better than others and solicit business on those grounds.

The model, designed by Crisil, rates a member bank based on compliance information furnished by member banks to BCSBI.

The rating process for this year, which is yet to be initiated, is likely to be completed by early next year or latest by the end of this fiscal, Mahajan said.

The BCSBI code does not replace or supersede regulatory and supervisory instructions of the Reserve Bank of India. 

In 2013, the ratings were given in four groups - public sector banks, private sector banks, foreign banks and all banks. In all, 48 member banks in 3,034 branches were rated on the basis of branch visits.

The overall score of public sector banks last year in implementation of codes was 74.2 percent, lower than private sector banks at 78.2 percent. Foreign banks scored the highest with level of compliance at 88.6 percent.

"The member banks give us an annual statement of compliance which includes responses to around 90 questions on various customer service aspects. We then verify those by sending our representatives to randomly selected branches," Mahajan said.

The data is then grouped under five parameters - information dissemination, transparency, customer centricity, grievance redressal and customer feedback.

The model then rates banks as 'High', 'Above Average', 'Average' and 'Below Average'. On the basis of the overall score, last year, only 10 percent of the banks achieved high level of compliance with codes.

More than 50 percent of the banks were rated as 'Above Average', while around 35 percent received an 'Average' rating and one bank was rated as 'Below Average'.

The membership to BCSBI is on a voluntary basis and there is no regulatory compulsion on any bank to become a member.

"We are a persuasive organisation. We do not believe in punitive action but in persuading banks to provide better services," Mahajan added. 

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