Who monitors banking codes and standards in India?
“An independent and autonomous watch dog to monitor and ensure that the Banking Codes and Standards adopted by the banks are adhered to in true spirit while delivering their services” is what the BCSBI (Banking Codes and Standards Board of India)states in a description of itself!
What does it mean and how does it matter to us – the common junta? This is the idea behind the following paragraphs.
In very simple words the board is an unbiased organization which has been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that the common consumer who is using any of the services of any bank gets what he pays for and also what he has been promised by the financial services industry. It is like a 3rd Umpire in a cricket match.
The core purpose of the organization is to “plan, evolve, prepare, develop, promote and publish voluntary comprehensive Codes and Standards for banks, for providing for fair treatment to their customers”. The board does not look into individual grievances but is more concerned with issues in the system and tries to put in a framework which can ensure that such issues are addressed.
The board has also taken up the responsibility of ensuring that awareness of the banking codes is done to the greatest extent possible. It achieves this aim by advertising and publishing material and literature in newspapers. The BSCBI also spreads this knowledge through TV, Radio and Websites.
BSCBI – The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India also conducts Training Courses and seminars for both employees of banks as well as the common public.
What’s in it for me – The common man?
The BCSBI relates to us in two direct ways:
- Code of bank’s commitment to customers
- Credit counseling – Individuals as well as SME sector
1. The most important role of this organization is creating a comprehensive “voluntary code” called the “Code of Bank’s Commitment to Customers” which is the minimum benchmark that banks are expected to follow in all the services that they provide to their customers. As a consumer, we can use the code as a protection and also as a reference check to what we can expect from our bank in terms of service.
The idea was mooted in late 2003 by the then RBI Deputy Governor Mr. Tarapore and his committee on Procedures and Performance Audit of Public Services. The committee has to identify how services given by banks could be improved as well as to create a referral point to continuously raise the bar on the level of service provided by banks. The board was set up in April 2005.