CAIIB BRBL Module C Unit 1 : Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021

CAIIB Paper 4 BRBL Module C Unit 1 : Creation/Registration And Satisfaction Of Charges (New Syllabus) 

IIBF has released the New Syllabus Exam Pattern for CAIIB Exam 2023. Following the format of the current exam, CAIIB 2023 will have now four papers. The CAIIB Paper 4 (BANKING REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS LAWS) includes an important topic called “Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021”. Every candidate who are appearing for the CAIIB Certification Examination 2023 must understand each unit included in the syllabus.

In this article, we are going to cover all the necessary details of CAIIB Paper 4 (BRBL) Module C (IMPORTANT ACTS/LAWS & LEGAL ASPECTS OF BANKING OPERATIONS – PART B) Unit 1 : Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021, Aspirants must go through this article to better understand the topic, Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 and practice using our Online Mock Test Series to strengthen their knowledge of Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021. Unit 1 : Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021


  • The ‘Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006’ was a scheme which became operative from January 01 2006, for providing an expeditious and inexpensive forum for bank customers for resolution of complaints relating to certain services rendered by banks.
  • The Scheme was introduced under Clause 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by RBI.
  • RBI had also introduced two more ombudsman schemes, viz. The Ombudsman Scheme for Non-banking Financial Companies, 2018 (for customers of larger NBFCs), and Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019 (for grievances related to digital transactions).
  • In November 2021, RBI integrated all the three Schemes into one omnibus Ombudsman Scheme, viz. The Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 (IOS 2021) to cover all entities regulated by RBI.


The Scheme covers the following regulated entities:

  • All Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Scheduled Primary (Urban) Cooperative Banks and Non-Scheduled Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks with deposits size of Rupees 50 crore and above as on the date of the audited balance sheet of the previous financial year
  • All Non-Banking Financial Companies (excluding Housing Finance Companies) which (a) are authorized to accept deposits; or (b) have customer interface, with an assets size of Rupees 100 crore and above as on the date of the audited balance sheet of the previous financial

Ombudsman – Appointment/Location Of Offices/ Establishment  Of A Centralized Receipt And Processing Centre

Appointment and Tenure of Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman

  • In terms of Clause 4 of the scheme: The Reserve Bank may appoint one or more of its officers as Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman, to carry out the functions entrusted to them under the Scheme.
  • The appointment of Ombudsman or the Deputy Ombudsman, as the case may be, shall be made for a period not exceeding three years at a time.

Location of the Office

  • Clause 5 of the scheme provides information about the location of offices of the ombudsman under the revised scheme. According to Clause 5 “(1) The offices of the Ombudsman shall be at such places as may be specified by the Reserve Bank.

Establishment of a Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre (CRPC)

  • Clause 6 of the scheme envisages the setting up of a Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre for processing of customer complaints relevant to the scheme.
  • Clause 6 states “(1) The Reserve Bank shall establish the Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre at any place as may be decided by it to receive the complaints filed under the Scheme and process them.
  • The complaints under the Scheme made online shall be registered on the portal ( Complaints in electronic mode (E-mail) and physical form, including postal and hand-delivered complaints, shall be addressed and sent to the place where the Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre of the Reserve Bank is established, for scrutiny and initial processing.

Procedure For Redressal Of Grievance

Complaint:  As per clause 9 “Any customer aggrieved by an act or omission of a Regulated Entity resulting in deficiency in service may file a complaint under the Scheme personally or through an authorized representative as defined under clause 3(1)(c)”

Circumstances where a complaint is not maintainable:

Commercial judgment/commercial decision of a Regulated Entity

  • A dispute between a vendor and a Regulated Entity relating to an outsourcing contract
  • Grievances not addressed to the Ombudsman directly
  • General grievances against Management or Executives of a Regulated Entity
  • Disputes in which action is initiated by a Regulated Entity in compliance with the orders of a statutory or law enforcing authority
  • Services not within the regulatory purview of the Reserve Bank
  • Disputes between Regulated Entities
  • Disputes involving the employee-employer relationship of a Regulated Entity.

Moreover as per Clause 10(2) “A complaint under the Scheme shall not lie unless:

(a)The complainant had, before making a complaint under the Scheme, made a written complaint to the Regulated Entity concerned and –

  • The complaint was rejected wholly or partly by the Regulated Entity, and the complainant is not satisfied with the reply; or the complainant had not received any reply within 30 days.
  • The complaint is made to the Ombudsman within one year after the complainant has received the reply from the Regulated Entity to the complaint or, where no reply is received, within one year and 30 days from the date of the complaint.

(b)The complaint is not in respect of the same cause of action which is already–

  • Pending before an Ombudsman or settled or dealt with on merits, by an Ombudsman
  • Pending before any Court, Tribunal or Arbitrator or any other Forum or Authority

(c)The complaint is not abusive or frivolous or vexatious in nature

(d)The complaint to the Regulated Entity was made before the expiry of the period of limitation prescribed under the Limitation Act, 1963, for such claims

(e)The complainant provides complete information as specified in clause 11 of the Scheme

(f)The complaint is lodged by the complainant personally or through an authorized representative other than an advocate unless the advocate is the aggrieved person.

Procedure For Filing A Complaint


  • The complaint may be lodged online through the portal designed for the purpose ( complaint may also be submitted through electronic or physical mode to the Centralized Receipt and Processing Centre as notified by the Reserve Bank.

Initial Scrutiny:

  • According to Clause 12 dealing with initial scrutiny of complaints received: Complaints which are in the nature of offering suggestions or seeking guidance or explanation shall not be treated as valid complaints under the Scheme and shall be closed accordingly with a suitable communication to the complainant.
  • Complaints which are non-maintainable under clause 10 shall be separated to issue a suitable communication to the complainant.
  • The remaining complaints shall be assigned to the offices of the Ombudsman for further examination under intimation to the complainant. A copy of the complaint shall also be forwarded to the Regulated Entity against whom the complaint is filed with a direction to submit its written version.


  • The Ombudsman/Deputy Ombudsman shall endeavor to promote settlement of a complaint by agreement between the complainant and the Regulated Entity through facilitation or conciliation or mediation.
  • The Regulated Entity shall, on receipt of the complaint, file its written version, enclosing therewith copies of the documents relied upon, within 15 days before the Ombudsman for resolution.
  • In case the Regulated Entity omits or fails to file its written version and documents within the time as provided in terms of sub-clause (3), the Ombudsman may proceed ex-parte based on the evidence available on record and pass appropriate Order or issue an Award.
  • If any amicable settlement of the complaint is arrived at between the parties, the same shall be recorded and signed by both the parties.

The complaint would be deemed to be resolved when:

  • It has been settled by the Regulated Entity with the complainant upon the intervention of the Ombudsman; or
  • The complainant has agreed in writing or otherwise (which may be recorded) that the manner and the extent of resolution of the grievance is satisfactory; or
  • The complainant has withdrawn the complaint voluntarily.

Award By Ombudsman

The Award shall contain following rulings: 

  • Direction to the regulated entity for specific performance
  • Amount to be paid by the regulated entity to the complainant as compensation for loss suffered.

Following ceilings apply to payments by the regulated entity to the complainant:

  • Actual amount involved in the dispute – without any ceiling.
  • Compensation for consequential loss (directly out of the act or omission of the bank) – to the extent of actual loss, with ceiling of Rs. 20 lakh
  • Compensation for loss of time, expenses incurred, harassment and mental anguish suffered – up to the ceiling of Rs. 1 lakh.

A copy of the Award is sent to the complainant and the regulated entity. The complainant should give a letter accepting the Award in full and final settlement to the regulated entity, within 30 days of receiving the award copy.

The regulated entity should comply with the Award and intimate compliance to the ombudsman, within 30 days of receiving acceptance letter from the complainant.

The Appellate Authority (AA) is the Executive Director in-Charge of the RBI Department administering the Scheme. An appeal can be made by either of the parties against the award or an order of rejection made by the Ombudsman. A Regulated Entity can appeal only with prior sanction of the Chairman or the MD/ CEO or, in their absence, the ED/Official of equal rank.

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CAIIB 4 Module C Unit 1 Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021 ( Ambitious_Baba )

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