RBI tightens leash around credit card companies

Mumbai, Nov 21 | Updated: Nov 22 2005, 06:47am hrs
Unveiling a final set of guidelines for credit card operations, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) held credit card issuing banks and NBFCs responsible for all acts of omission and commission of direct selling agents and direct marketing agents employed by these institutions.

The guidelines are based on the recommendations of an Indian Banks Association working group. RBI also said that the bank would be held responsible if a do not call number was dialled by its call centre.

Any unsolicited credit facility including activation of an unsolicited card, wrongful billing, etc would attract penalty amounting to twice the value of the charges, said RBI.

The card issuer would also require prior consent of the customer before upgrading his credit limit. RBI has directed banks to immediately initiate a do not call registry containing the phone numbers of individuals not interested in unsolicited calls for credit cards.

Also providing a breather to credit card defaulters, RBI said that banks will have to inform the defaulter of their intention to share his credit history with a bureau, and also give him sufficient time to clear the dues before providing the credit history.