Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The number of complaints in the country’s banking sector increased by more than 70% in the fiscal year (FY) 2012-13 compared to the previous fiscal, the central bank said.
The Bangladesh Bank (BB) received 4296 complaints from the commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions in the FY `13 against 2525 complaints in the FY `12, according to the annual report of the customer services division (CSD) under Financial Integrity and Customer Services Department (FI&CSD) of the central bank.
The report also said most of the complaints relate to general banking, loans and advances, remittances, bills, cards and ATM booths, mobile banking and others.
The number of complaints resolved rose to 2941 in FY `13 from 2370 a year ago, the BB data showed, released on Tuesday.
The highest number of complaints has been received against the Sonali Bank Ltd. Two other state-owned banks –Janata Bank Ltd. and Bangladesh Krishi Bank Ltd. – are in the second and third position respectively.
The BB, which is a regulatory body for the banks and NBFIs, also receives complaints through its 10 branch offices across the country.
BB Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman later unveiled the report giving emphasis on ensuring depositors and customers interest considering it as a part of corporate social responsibility.
“Depositors are real owners of the banks. So the bankers will have to solve their (depositors) problems,” the central bank chief said, adding that the issue of customer interest protection will be discussed at the next bankers meeting.
“Since inception of the new department it has been working for strengthening the financial integrity of the banking system as well as for developing the standard of customer services,” BB Deputy Governor SK Chowdhury said while delivering welcome address at the meeting.
The central bank earlier in March 2011 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 financial integrity and customer services department.
Among others, Executive Director of the BB SM Moniruzzaman, President of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Qazi Faruque, senior officials of different commercial banks and customers spoke on the occasion.
BBN/SSR/AD-25Sept13-10:02 am (BST)