Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The number of complaints in the country’s banking sector increased by 4.19 percent to 4476 in the fiscal year (FY) 2013-14 from 4296 in the previous fiscal, according to the annual report on Financial Integrity and Customer Services Department (FICSD) of the central bank for the FY 14.

The central bank of Bangladesh has taken punitive actions against 184 bankers including 18 general managers and above for their involvement in 4476 complaints in the FY 14, officials said.
 “The process of taking actions against two more bank officials is now underway,” Deputy General Manager of the FICSD of Bangladesh Bank (BB) Swapan Kumar Roy said while presenting a keynote paper at its annual report releasing ceremony held at the central bank headquarters in Dhaka on Monday.

He also said more than 10 bankers including a managing director of a state-owned specialised bank were removed from their posts for alleged involvement in corruption.

The BB, which is a regulatory body for the banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs), receives complaints through its 10 branch offices across the country.

In FY 14, the central bank managed to solve 4291, or 95.87 per cent, of the complaints compared to 2941 or 68.46 per cent in FY 13.

The report also said most of the complaints relate to general banking, loans and advances, remittances, bills, cards, mobile banking and others.
The highest number of complaints has been received against the Sonali Bank Ltd. Two other state-owned banks -Janata Bank Ltd. and Agarani Bank Ltd. – are in the second and third position respectively.
A total of 10,990 complaints were received by the FICSD since inspection up to June 30, 2014. Among those complaints, 3,468 were received over phone and 7522 in written form.

Earlier on March 28, 2011, the central bank introduced a help desk to safeguard the interests of customers. Later in September 2011, the help desk was renamed as Customers’ Interests Protection Centre.

To meet the rising number of complaints, the BB in July 2012 transformed the centre into an independent department known as the FICSD.

After receiving the complaints, action has been taken instantly by the FICSD and 10,805 complaints out of 10,990 have been resolved, according to the report.

 “The remaining 185 cases are under investigation. The rate of resolution is 98.31 per cent,” it noted.

BB Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman unveiled the report giving emphasis on ensuring customer satisfaction through providing batter services.

The central bank chief also advised the banks for providing better services to the customers as a tool for boosting business opportunity and effective strategy for them.
 “The government should take necessary measures to improve the quality of customer services in the public banks,” Dr. Rahman said. “We hope the government will appoint honest people and remove inefficient and dishonest ones.”

Among others, President of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Ghulam Rahman, BB Deputy Governor SK Sur Chowdhury, Executive Director of the BB SM Moniruzzaman, Chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB), Ali Reza Iftekhar and customers of different banks spoke on the occasion.

BBN/SSR/AD-23Sept14-12:05 pm (BST)