Technological progress in payment and settlement systems and qualitative changes in operational systems and processes undertaken by various players in the market have improved efficiencies for providing better service to the users of the system. It has been the endeavor of the Bank to offer services to its customers with best possible utilization of its technology infrastructure. Migration of all branches of the Bank to Core Banking Solution (CBS) platform is a great leap in this direction. Reserve Bank of India has also been issuing various instructions/guidelines, from time to time, with a view to improving the level of customer service available to the customers of the banking industry and also to empower the banks to promote efficient service. Since RBI has further advised Time Frame of 7/10/14 days for collection of Local/Outstation cheques/Instruments, the Bank is required to compensate customers for delay in collection of instruments /cheques beyond these days in addition to other deficiency in services. Accordingly, in order to increase efficiency of operations/better performance and to compensate adequately any customer who faces deficiency in services, the Compensation Policy for the Bank has been formulated.
The objective of the "State Bank of Patiala Compensation Policy (Banking Services)" (hereinafter called “the Policy”), is to establish a system whereby the Bank compensates the customer due to deficiency in service on the part of the Bank or any act of omission or commission, directly attributable to the Bank.
a) The Policy will be applicable to all banking service customers of the Bank.
b) The Policy is based on principles of transparency and fairness in the treatment of customers. It is designed to cover deficiency in service in areasThe Policy is based on principles of transparency and fairness in the treatment of customers. It is designed to cover deficiency in service in areas relating to unauthorized debiting of accounts, payment of interest to customers for delayed collection of cheques/instruments, payment of cheques after acknowledgment of stop payment instructions, remittances within India, foreign exchange services, lending etc. as specified in this Policy.
c) Grant of compensation under this Policy is without prejudice to the Bank's rights in defending its position before any Court of Law, Tribunal or any other forum duly constituted to adjudicate banker customer disputes and does not constitute admission of liability or any other issue, of any nature whatsoever for the purposes of Adjudicatory proceedings.
4.Recognition of deficiency and compensation
4.1 Unauthorized/Erroneous Debit
If the Bank has raised an unauthorized/ erroneous debit to an account, the entry shall be reversed immediately on being detected/informed, after due verification. If such a debit has resulted in a financial loss to the customer by way of reduction in the minimum balance applicable for payment of interest on savings bank deposit or payment of additional interest to the Bank in a loan account or levying of penalty for not maintaining the stipulated minimum balance in the account, Bank shall compensate the customer to that extent.
Further, if the customer has suffered any loss incidental to return of a cheque or not carrying out of direct debit instructions due to insufficiency of balance on account of the unauthorized / erroneous debit, Bank will compensate the customer to the extent of such financial loss in addition to an amount equivalent to interest calculated on the unauthorized/erroneously debited amount at applicable Savings Bank rate, minimum Rs.100/-, besides refunding the cheque return charges.
In case verification of the entry reported to be unauthorised /erroneous by the customer does not involve a third party, the Bank shall arrange to complete the process of verification within a maximum period of 7 working days from the date of reporting of erroneous debit. If it involves a third party or where verification is to be done at overseas centres, the Bank shall complete the verification process within a maximum period of one month from the date of reporting of unauthorised /erroneous transaction by the customer.
In case any amount has been debited to the account of a customer on account of fraudulent transactions the amount will be restored to the affected customer account without delay/demur, once the fraud is established.
If a fraud, in the account of a customer, has been committed by a member of staff, and has been so established, Bank will not only restore the amount, it will also pay compensation @ 1% above the specified rate as provided in Bank's Cheque Collection Policy for delayed collection in deposit account and @ 1% above the applicable interest rate (Base Rate) in respect of overdraft/loan account, for the period, on the amount involved.
In case where neither the Bank is at fault nor the customer, but the fault lies elsewhere in the system, the Bank will help in restoring the actual amount involved and as a gesture of goodwill and to deal with the customers fairly, will also compensate the customer with Rs.100/- per Rs.5000/- maximum Rs.1000/- for each instance.
2) ECS direct debits/other debits to accounts
The Bank undertakes to carry out, within the prescribed time, direct debit /ECS (Electronic Clearing Service) debit instructions of customers. In the event of non-compliance/delayed compliance of instructions by the Bank to meet such commitments, the customer will be compensated to the extent of any financial loss the customer would incur on account of delay in carrying out the instruction/failure to carry out the instruction.
Such compensation may be equivalent to the interest calculated on the amount to be debited, for the delayed period, at applicable Savings Bank rate, with minimum of Rs. 100/-, subject to a maximum of Rs. 1,000/-.
The Bank would debit the customer’s account with any applicable service charge as per the schedule of charges notified by the bank. In the event the Bank levies any charge in violation of the arrangement or inadvertently, Bank will reverse the charges, subject to scrutiny of agreed terms and conditions, and compensate the customer by a sum equal to the charges reversed.
4.3. Uniformity in penal interest payable by banks for delays in credit/ return of NEFT/NECS/ ECS transactions.
In terms of the NEFT / NECS / ECS Procedural Guidelines of RBI, as also the relevant circulars / instructions issued by RBI from time to time, member banks need to afford credits to beneficiary accounts or return transactions (unaccredited for whatever reason) to the originating / sponsor bank within the prescribed timeline. Any delays in doing so attract penal provisions specified therein. In order to ensure standardisation of the benchmark rate used and bring in uniformity in penal provisions across the retail payment products, RBI have made the following modifications:
4.3.1 NECS / ECS-Credit
Destination Bank would be held liable to pay penal interest at the current RBI Repo Rate plus two per cent from the due date of credit till the date of actual credit for any delayed credit to the beneficiaries’ account. Penal interest shall be credited to the Beneficiary's Account even if no claim is lodged.”
In the event of any delay or loss on account of error, negligence or fraud on the part of an employee of the destination bank in the completion of funds transfer pursuant to receipt of payment instruction by the destination bank leading to delayed payment to the beneficiary, the destination bank shall pay compensation at current RBI Repo Rate plus two per cent for the period of delay for credit to the beneficiary’s a/c. In the event of delay in return of the funds transfer instruction for any reason whatsoever, the destination bank shall refund the amount together with interest at the current RBI Repo Rate plus two per cent till the date of refund."
4.3.3. During the NEFT operating hours, originating banks should endeavour to put through the requests for NEFT transactions received by them, either online or across the counters, preferably in the next available batch but, in any case, not exceeding two hours (from the business hours next day), from the time of receipt of the requests. In the likelihood of any delay / possible delay in adhering to this requirement, the originators / customers should be informed of the delay / possible delay and the reasons for the same.
4.3.4 In terms of the RBI ECS (Credit Clearing) procedural guidelines which clearly stipulate that if a destination bank branch is not in a position to credit a particular transaction for reason like "Account Closed/transferred"; "No such Accounts"; "Account description does not tally"; etc. it should report the same and forward it to the Service Branch/Main Branch on the same settlement day.
4.4. Issue of ATM/Debit Cards without written consent of customers:
Where the Bank had issued a ATM / Debit card without written consent of the customer, which has been disputed by the customer without using the card, the said ATM/Debit card will be taken back by the Bank and got cancelled. The Bank would not only reverse the charges, if levied, immediately but also pay compensation to the customer Rs100/- if cancellation is done within 7 days of the representation and Rs.500/- for cancellation done after 7 days.
4.5. Payment of Cheques after Acknowledgement of Stop Payment Instructions
4.5.1 The instruction for Stop Payment will be accepted at Home Branch through contact central/ Internet Banking (alternate channel)
4.5.2 In case a cheque has been paid after stop payment instruction is acknowledged by the Bank, Bank shall reverse the debit with value dated credit within two working days of the customer intimating the transaction to the Bank and also compensate the customer with Rs. 100/-. However, no compensation will be paid if cheque has been paid prior to acknowledgment of stop payment instructions.
4.6. Collection of cheque drawn on foreign countries
4.6.1 The Bank would not compensate the customer for delays in collection of cheques designated in foreign countries as the bank would not be able to ensure timely credit from overseas banks. It is bank’s experience that time for collection of instruments drawn on banks in foreign countries differ from country to country and even within a country, from place to place. The time norms for return of instruments cleared provisionally also vary from country to country. Bank however, may consider upfront credit against such instrument by purchasing the cheque /instrument, provided the conduct of the account has been satisfactory in the past. However, bank will compensate the customer for undue delay in affording credit once proceeds are credited to the Nostro Account of the Bank with its correspondent. Such compensation will be given for delays beyond one week from the date of credit to Nostro Account/due date after taking into account normal cooling period stipulated.
4.6.2 As time for collection of instruments drawn on banks in different countries vary and even within a country vary from place to place, delay in collection of cheques payable at foreign centres will be construed if the customer’s account is not credited within 10 working days, excluding Saturdays, from the date of clear credit to the Bank's Nostro account i.e. after taking into account the prescribed cooling period for that currency, with the correspondent.
4.6.3 The compensation on account of delays in collection of instruments in foreign currency would be paid in Indian rupee, as detailed below:
i) At Savings Bank rate. if the period of delay is beyond prescribed collection period i.e. after 10 days from the cooling period(as mentioned in Para 4.6.2 above) and upto 45 days, where proceeds of the instruments are to be credited to deposit accounts.
ii) In case of abnormal delay i.e. delays exceeding 45 days, interest will be paid at the rate of term deposit rate applicable for the period and beyond 90 days, 2% above the applicable term deposit rate.
iii) In the event of the proceeds of cheque under collection being required to be credited to an overdraft / loan account of the customer, interest will be paid at the rate applicable to the loan account, if the delay is less than 45 days. For abnormal delays i.e beyond 45 days, interest will be paid at the rate of 2% above the applicable interest rate to the loan account. Such interest shall be payable with a minimum of Rs. 25/-.
4.7. Compensation for adverse movement in exchange rates
4.7.1 FEDAI Rules No.2.B.3 and 4.A.3. (amended as on 27th June, 2007) provide for compensation for delayed collection of export bills/payment of foreign inward remittances etc. and also for adverse movement of forex rates and also for payment of interest for delay in payment to the exporters on export bills sent for collection and realized by the authorized dealers.
4.7.2 On the assumption that the customer has complied with FEMA guidelines and Bank's requirements, the following Compensation guidelines are prescribed.
a) Payment to Exporter
In case of delay beyond the date when the Forex amount is due for credit, compensation is payable for adverse movement of exchange rate. The compensation will be decided as follows:
i) In case the rate ruling on the date of payment is better for the customer compared to the rate that was ruling on the day the amount was due for credit, no compensation needs to be paid.
ii) In case the rate ruling on the date of payment is adverse for the customer compared to the rate that was ruling on the day the amount was due for credit, compensation shall be determined as 50 % of the difference between the two rates.
Note: If the exporter has expressed willingness to keep part of the proceeds in EEFC A/c, no compensation would be payable for the amount not converted.
b) Payment of foreign inward remittances.
All remittances upto USD 5000/- or equivalent meant for retail customer (i.e. individuals) to be converted at the prevailing Card Rates and credited to their respective account immediately. However, for the convenience of the customer, the facility may be extended upto USD 10,000 or equivalent. Since IRC will put through conversion transactions upto USD 10,000 or equivalent and as per FEDAI guidelines customer consent is required for remittances above USD 5000 equivalent, there may be occasions wherein the customer might require the remittances proceeds in FC. In such cases, IRC will facilitate re-conversion at level rate within 07 days from the date of transaction(s) as and when requested by the Branch on behalf of customer. Compensation would be payable:
(i) If the remittance is not converted within 10 days of receipt of remittance advice from abroad and
(ii) There is an adverse movement of exchange rate between the date of payment and the last due date. The quantum of compensation would be determined as 50 % of the difference between the rates ruling on those dates.
c) However, in special circumstances where there has been delay on the part of the Bank in conversion, compensation @ 50% of the difference between the rates (on the due date of payment and the date of conversion) would be permitted for such transactions.
4.8 Collection of cheques payable in India
4.8.1 Payment of Interest for delayed Collection of Outstation Cheques: As part of the compensation policy of the bank, the bank will pay interest to its customers on the amount of collection instruments in case there is delay in giving credit beyond the time period specified in Bank’s Cheque collection policy. Such interest shall be paid without any demand from customers in all types of accounts. There shall be no distinction between instruments drawn on the bank’s own branches or on other banks for the purpose of payment of interest on delayed collection.
4.8.2 Interest for delayed collection shall be paid at the following rates:
a) Saving Bank rate for the period of delay beyond 7/10/14 days as the case may be in collection of outstation cheques, i.e. from 8th/11th/15th day, the interest will be payable.
b) Where the delay is beyond 14 days interest will be paid at the rate applicable for term deposit for the corresponding period or Saving Bank rate, whichever is higher.
c) In case of extraordinary delay, i.e. delays exceeding 90 days, interest will be paid at the rate of 2% above the corresponding Term Deposit rate.
d) In the event the proceeds of cheque under collection, to be credited to an overdraft / loan account of the customer, interest will be paid at the rate applicable to the loan account. For extraordinary delays, i,e, delays exceeding 90 days interest will be paid at the rate of 2% above the rate applicable to the loan account.
4.8.3 Interest as above shall be payable with a minimum of Rs.25/-.
4.8.4 Compensation as detailed above shall be paid without any formal demand from customers and there shall be no distinction between instruments drawn on the Bank's own branches or on other banks which are payable in India.
4.9. Compensation for loss of Cheques / Instruments in transit.
4.9.1 In the event a cheque or an instrument accepted for collection is lost in transit or in clearing process, the Bank shall immediately on coming to know of the loss of instrument, bring the same to the notice of the accountholder so that the accountholder can inform the drawer to record stop payment and also take care that cheques ,if any, issued by him/her are not dishonoured due to non-credit of the amount of the lost cheque/instrument. The Bank would provide all assistance to the customer to obtain a duplicate instrument from the drawer of the cheque.
4.9.2 In case intimation regarding loss of instrument is conveyed to the customer beyond the time limit stipulated for collection, as per the Cheque Collection Policy of the Bank,(7/10/14 days as the case may be) interest will be paid for the period beyond the stipulated collection period at the rates specified in para4.8.2 above for cheques payable in India and at rates specified at Para 4.6 above in regard to cheques payable abroad.
i) Bank will pay interest on the amount of the cheque for a further period of 15 days at Savings Bank rate to provide for possible further delay in obtaining duplicate cheque /instrument and collection thereof.
ii) The Bank would also compensate the customer for any reasonable charges he/she incurs in getting duplicate cheque/instrument upon production of receipt, in the event the instrument is to be obtained from a Bank/institution who would charge a fee for issue of duplicate instrument, subject to a maximum of Rs. 250/-.
4.10. ATM Failure:
Compensation to customer for settlement of disputed ATM transactions
4.10.1 RBI’s instructions/guidelines now stipulate that the time limit for resolution of customer complaints by the issuing banks shall stand reduced from 12 working days to 7 working days from the date of receipt of customer complaint. Accordingly, failure to re-credit the customer’s account within 7 working days of receipt of the complaint shall entail payment of compensation to the customer @ Rs.100/- per day by the issuing bank provided the claim is lodged with the issuing bank within 30 days of the date of transactions and branch has failed to establish the proof of payment/disbursement by ATM.
4.10.2 ATM-CUM-DEBIT CARD: FRAUDS
The likely causes of frauds are:
Customer making a duplicate card and fabricating the transactions/losing the amount or parting the PIN due to his own negligence.
Skimming of data from POS/ATM machines, used by the customers, by attaching a device to the machine.
Data theft at the Card Vendor’s end.
The skimming events, as advised in (i) above cannot be ascribed to either failure of Bank’s systems and/or fault of the employees. In such cases, since the customer has himself facilitated the act, he should not be compensated.
In respect of scenarios where the fault lies either with the system and/or Agent appointed by the Bank, Bank will be liable for compensating the customers.
Bank can compensate the customer if it is established that skimming has taken place at an ATM owned by the Bank. However even in such a scenario there is no inherent weakness in the Bank’s IT system or failure of Bank’s IT system and any compensation will be without prejudice of right of Bank to take action against miscreants.
Skimming can take place at ATMs not owned by the Bank/branch and could even be located outside the country.
In case where neither the bank is at fault nor the customer, but the fault lies elsewhere in the system, the Bank will help in restoring the actual amount involved and as a gesture of goodwill and to deal with the customers fairly, will also compensate the customer with Rs. 100/- per Rs.5000/- maximum Rs.1000/- for each instance.
Necessary support in investigation as also interaction with the ATM provider in case ATM is not of our Bank, will have to be provided by ITS Deptt., Head Office who in-tern would take the assistance from ATM department, GITC, Corporate Centre, Belapur or other agency that may be engaged for the purpose if required.
The proposal for reimbursing the customer may be implemented verifying the bonafides after prior approval of the competent authority as defined in the Scheme of Delegation of Financial Powers in the Bank. Suitable documents/agreement with the customers should be arranged and Bank will have right to recover if later on it is found that the customer was at fault or otherwise not entitled to compensation.
4.11 Compensation for delay in Pension payment
4.11.1 RBI have issued fresh guidelines for payment of compensation for delay in pension payment to the govt. Employees.
4.11.2 As per extant instructions, pension (normal pension) of Central / State Govt. pensioners should be credited to their account on any of the last four working days of each month except the pension for March every year which will be credited on the first working day of April.
4.11.3. As regards disbursing revised pension / arrears, pensioners should get the revised pension / arrears on the last day of the succeeding month, after the concerned Government announces the revision and date for implementation. In other words, each Agency Bank is getting adequate reaction time ranging from 30 to 60 days for the concerned department to obtain the revised parameters from the respective Government and set the same in the CPSS for implementing the GO in time.
4.11.4 The concerned pensioner should be compensated for the delay beyond the due date (last date of the succeeding month subsequent to issue of GO by the concerned Government) at prevailing Bank Rate (RBI’s) plus 2% penal interest on the revised pension / arrears for the delay period. This compensation shall be credited to the pensioner’s account automatically without any claim from the pensioner in respect of all delayed pension payments made since October 1, 2008.
4.11.5 In case of very complicated pension cases requiring reference back to the respective Government / govt. departments, the due date would commence from the date of obtention of final clarification from the Government concerned.
12) Compensation for delay in other services
In respect of the following services provided to the customers, if the delay in providing services is beyond the time norms specified hereunder, compensation would be payable as indicated hereinafter.
4.12. Compensation for delay in Issuance of Duplicate IOI (Inter Office Instrument) / Drafts
Duplicate DD /Banker Cheque /IOI will be issued within a fortnight from the receipt of such request from the purchaser thereof. For delay beyond the above stipulated period, interest at the rate applicable for Fixed deposit of Corresponding period will be paid as compensation to the customer for such delay.
4.13. Payment of “at par” Cheques issued by other Banks
4.13.1 Bank will not pay any compensation, to the cheque holder, for dishonour of "at par" cheques issued by other banks, including co-operative banks, in the absence of adequate funds in the account on which cheques are issued even though the amount of the cheque may have been paid to the bank which had issued the "at par" cheque.
4.13.2 RBI instruction stipulate that banks will not honour cheques drawn on current accounts maintained by other banks with it unless arrangements are made for funding cheques issued. Issuing bank should be responsible to compensate the cheque holder for non-payment of cheques in the absence of adequate funding arrangement.
4.14. Lenders liability: Commitments to borrowers:
The Bank has adopted the principles of “Lenders’ liability. In terms of guidelines for lenders’ liability, and the “Code of Bank’s commitment to customers” adopted by the Bank, the Bank would return to the borrowers all the securities /documents /title deeds to mortgage property within days of repayment of all dues agreed to or contracted, subject to any other right/lien/claim by the Bank till the relevant claim is settled /paid. If any right to set off is to be exercised for any other claim, Bank would give due notice with full particulars about the other claims and retain the securities/documents/title to mortgage property till the relevant claim is settled/paid. In the event of loss of title deeds to mortgaged property at the hands of the Banks, the compensation will cover out of pocket expenses for obtaining duplicate documents plus a lumpsum amount as decided by the Bank in the following manner.
“The Bank would pay the compensation for delay in return of securities/documents/title deeds to the mortgaged property beyond days of repayment of all dues agreed to or contracted ,subject to above conditions, @ Rs.100/- per day subject to maximum Rs.5000/- to the borrower.”
4.15. Violations by Bank’s Agents
Bank will not pay any compensation, to the cheque holder, for dishonour of “at par” cheques issued by other banks, including co-operative banks, in the absence of adequate funds in the account on which cheques are issued even though the amount of the cheque may have been paid to the bank which had issued the “at par” cheque.
14. Violations by Bank’s Agents
In the event of receipt of any complaint from the customer that the Bank’s representatives/couriers, or any other agent engaged in any improper conduct or acted in violation of the Code of the Bank’s commitment to customers which the Bank has adopted voluntarily, the Bank shall take appropriate steps to investigate and redress the complaint and endeavor to communicate to the customer within 7 working days from the date of receipt of complaint and where justified, may compensate the customer suitably for financial loss as decided by the Bank. Also, steps will be taken, if required as per Bank’s decision, to prevent recurrence of similar complaints.
5. Customers’ responsibility:
5.1. Bank will not be responsible for the loss to the customers due to customer’s carelessness in keeping the Cheque book, passbook, cards, PIN or other security information and not following DO’s and Dont’s issued by Bank, until the Bank has been notified by the customer.
5.2. Bank will not be responsible for the loss to the customer, if the customer acts fraudulently and/or acts without reasonable care which has resulted into loss to him/her. Bank will also not be responsible for the losses arising out of misuse, of lost PIN, compromise of passwords/secure or confidential information, suffered by the customer until the time the Bank has been notified and has taken steps to prevent misuse.
6 Disclaimer clause;
Notwithstanding any thing contained here above, the Bank shall not pay any compensation in the following cases:-
i) Any deficiency in regard to loans and advances activities of the Bank.
ii) Dishonour of at par payment agreement with other banks, due to nonfunding and security compliance.
iii) Delays on account of non-functioning of business due to factors beyond the control of the bank the period covered by such events shall be omitted for calculation of delay etc.
iv) Where the issues are sub-judice and pending before Courts, Ombudsman, arbitrator , Government and matter put on hold due to stay.
7. Force Majeure
The Bank shall not be liable to compensate customers under this Policy if some unforeseen event including but not limited to civil commotion, sabotage, lockout, strike or other labour disturbances, accident, fire, natural disasters or other “Acts of God", war, damage to the Bank's or its correspondent bank(s) systems, communication channels etc. beyond the control of the Bank, prevents it from performing its obligations within the specified service delivery parameters.
8. Amendment/Modification of the Policy
The Bank reserves the right to amend/modify this Policy, as and when deemed fit and proper, at its sole discretion. Bank shall also endeavour, to review the Policy at annual intervals.