Credit card complaints against SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC: Govt

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has received a large number of complaints relating to credit cards against lenders such as SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank for reasons like penal and late payment charges during the last fiscal, Parliament was informed today.

These were, however, lower than those received in 2010-11.

During 2011-12, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has received 5,198 complaints against State Bank of India (SBI), followed by ICICI Bank (1,211) and HDFC Bank (1,153), Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The Minister said that complaints have been received from customers on issues, including those on undue penal charges, late payment charges, issue of unsolicited cards and harassing telephone calls among others.

The number of such complaints against the three large banks, however, have declined in 2011-12 as compared to the previous fiscal.

During 2010-11, credit-card related complaints stood at 5,268 against SBI and 1,967 and 1,543 against ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, respectively.

Overall, RBI got 14,237 credit-cards related complaints against banks in 2011-12, 17,116 in 2010-11 and 18,810 in 2009-10, respectively, Chidambaram said.

He said the offices of the banking ombudsmen have seen a decline in complaints from credit card holders since 2009-10.

In order to reduce the number of complaints related to credit cards, RBI has been taking a number of steps and corrective actions like customer education and awareness campaign, etc, the Minister said.

Among other steps, RBI had issued comprehensive guidelines on credit card operations earlier this year, he added.

He also said that banks are advised to adopt adequate safeguards and implement the guidelines in order to ensure that their credit card operations are run in a sound and customer-friendly manner.

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