November 21: Expressing dissatisfaction with the services of banks and financial institutions, the general public has registered about 3,000 complaints in one year. The common people have registered complaints with the Nepal Rastra Bank against the banks regarding interest rates, service charges and other issues after the central bank facilitated in registering the complaints and started taking effective actions against the banks.
According to Nepal Rastra Bank, 2,903 complaints were registered by the general public through various means in the last fiscal year (FY). According to the central bank, 2,646 complaints have been resolved and 257 complaints are in the process of being addressed.
The central bank has said that most of the complaints of the common people are about the interest rate (premium) charged by banks on loan.
They have also complained about the fees charged by the banks and their refusal to blacklist defaulters not being included in the blacklist.
Another complaint is that of non-payment of bank guarantee.
The Nepal Rastra Bank has established a Financial Customer Protection Unit and has been dealing with complaints made by the general public about the services of banks and financial institutions. The central bank has also been operating a separate online portal since May 2021 to make it easy for the general public to file complaints.
In addition, arrangements have been made to submit complaints in writing, by email and by telephone and in person at the Nepal Rastra Bank. The central bank has also arranged a hotline service for registering complaints.
Of late, as the general public's complaints against microfinance institutions have started to increase, a separate complaint desk has also been set up in the Microfinance Institutions Supervision Department of NRB. Complaints filed against the bank through the government and other means are also sent to the central bank.
The NRB has formed a Grievance Hearing Committee under the coordination of a Senior Deputy Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank to hear the complaints received from the customers according to the provisions of the Financial Customer Protection and Grievance Management Procedure 2077.
The members of the committee include Deputy Governor, Executive Director of Banks and Financial Institution Regulation Department and Bank Supervision Department, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, President of Nepal Bankers Association, and a representative from the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Similarly, there is a provision that a maximum of four experts from related departments and agencies can be invited to the meeting based on the nature/topic of the complaint to be discussed in the committee where the director of the Banks and Financial Institutions Regulation Department is a member secretary.
There is a provision that the concerned department of the central bank will take the initiative to solve the complaints received from the general public and if it is not resolved, it will be sent to the committee.