RBI directs credit information companies to appoint internal ombudsman

The RBI, in its Statement of Developmental and Regulatory Policies, on August 5, 2022, had called for bringing credit information companies under the internal ombudsman framework to strengthen and improve the efficiency of the internal grievance redressal mechanisms.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday has directed all the credit information companies to appoint an internal ombudsman by April 1, 2023.

The RBI, in its Statement of Developmental and Regulatory Policies, on August 5, 2022 had called for bringing credit information companies under the internal ombudsman framework to strengthen and improve the efficiency of the internal grievance redressal mechanisms.

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According to the central bank, the internal ombudsman shall be either a retired or a serving officer, not below the rank of deputy general manager or equivalent in any financial sector regulatory body, credit information companies, a non-banking financial company (NBFC) or bank, with necessary skills and experience of at least seven years in banking, non-banking finance, financial sector regulation or supervision, credit information, or consumer protection.

The appointment will be for a fixed term of not less than three years, but not exceeding five years.

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The internal ombudsman cannot be removed before the completion of the contracted term without the RBI's explicit approval.

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In case the vacancy arises on account of reasons beyond control, the credit information company shall appoint a new internal ombudsman, within three months from the date of the vacancy arising.

The RBI also said that the scope of the internal audit of credit information companies shall exclude any assessment of the correctness of decisions taken by the internal ombudsman.

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The internal ombudsman shall report to the Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer administratively, and to the Board functionally.

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