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Responsibilities of Banks as a Service Provider

On August 9th, 1969, a Presidential order made the then fourteen privately owned and operated Banks into Nationalised Banks under the Banking Companies (Acquisition & Transfer of Undertaking) Bill, 1969.

The main purpose behind nationalising banks was to develop the Indian economy, and also attain the following objectives:

  • Social Welfare : It was the need of the hour to direct the funds for the needy and required sectors of the Indian economy. Sectors such as agriculture, small and village industries were in need of funds for their expansion and further economic development
  • Abolishing Monopolies : Prior to nationalization, banks were controlled by private business houses and corporate families. It was necessary to check these monopolies in order to ensure a smooth supply of credit to socially desirable sections
  • Expansion of Banking Sector: In India the numbers of banks existing those days were certainly inadequate to serve the economy. It was necessary to spread banking across the country. This could be done only through expanding banking network (by opening new bank branches) in the un-banked areas
  • Reducing Regional Imbalance: In a country like India where we have a urban-rural divide, it was necessary for banks to go in the rural areas where the banking facilities were not available. In order to reduce this regional imbalance nationalization was justified
  • Priority Sector Lending : In India, the agriculture sector and its allied activities were the largest contributor to the national income. Thus these were labeled as the priority sectors. But unfortunately they were deprived of their due share in the credit. Nationalization was urgently needed for catering funds to them
  • Developing Banking Habits: In India more than 70% population used to stay in rural areas. It was necessary to develop the banking habit among such a large population

From this point onwards, all banks were required to play a role as ‘service provider’ to the account holders and treat them as ‘consumers’.

The Reserve Bank of India has issued a ‘Master Circular’ outlining many important aspects of customer services in Banks vide its Master Circular D. No. Leg.BC.21/09.07.006/2012-13 dated July 02, 2012 followed by RBI/2013-14/69 dated July 01,2013. This circular consolidates many important facets of customer service in banks such as opening/operation of deposit accounts; levy of service charges; service at the counters; operation of accounts by old and incapacitated persons and like. The link to the circular is attached below:

http://www.rbi.org.in/commonman/English/Scripts/Notification.aspx?Id=1266

Power to Consumer stands by the side of consumers that are aggrieved with improper and irregular banking services. We believe that deficient customer service by any bank lies within the legal ambit of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 with its updated amendments. Any customer can file a complaint against any bank, and seek compensation as per the guidelines of the Consumer Court(s). 

So have you been a victim or sufferer of inefficient services by a bank? Let us know. Pose your complaint on our ‘Power to Consumer’ website today. And help us spread the word.

Image By Bill william compton at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17389656

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