Recovery agent threat greater from foreign, private banks

Dec 14 2012, 21:37 IST
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SummaryBetween July and November this year, the banking ombudsman received 101 complaints against private sector and foreign banks.

Private sector and foreign banks made greater use of agents to recover outstanding loans from customers than nationalised banks, the State Bank of India and its associate banks, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Between July and November this year, the banking ombudsman received 101 complaints against private sector (72) and foreign banks (29) for use of direct selling or recovery agents, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said during Question Hour.

He said 48 complaints of similar nature were received by the banking ombudsman against nationalised banks (21), SBI and its associate banks (27).

Of the total 149 complaints, received during the five-month period, 116 had been disposed of, he said without elaborating.

In 2010-11, 928 complaints were received against private sector banks, 658 against foreign banks, 52 against SBI and its associate banks and 58 against nationalised banks, he said.

However, next year there was a sharp decline in the number of complaints after the Reserve Bank of India issued guidelines asking banks to avoid adoption of uncivilised, unlawful and questionable behaviour of recovery agents during the process of loan recovery.

In 2011-12, 87 complaints were received against SBI and its associate banks, 54 against nationalised banks, 223 against private sector banks and 83 against foreign banks, he said.

The RBI guidelines, issued on July 1, 2011, are applicable to all scheduled commercial banks, regional rural banks and even primary cooperative banks, Meena said.

"Banks are, therefore, required to rely on legal remedies available under the relevant statutes while enforcing security interests without intervention of the Courts of law," he said.

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