Fair financial services to consumers still a dream

Better access and good affordability of financial services in India is still a dream in this modern era where the global economy adds around 1.5 crores new consumers of financial services every year. This was highlighted by S N Panda, General Manager, RBI, Jaipur circle in an event organised by noted consumer advocacy group CUTS on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, 2011. Putting his viewpoint on the theme of the event “Consumers for Fair Financial Services” Panda emphasized on the problem of poor awareness and accessibility among consumers about the banking sector. He mentioned about various initiatives being taken by RBI in generating financial literacy and reiterated the need of better terms & conditions and the services as well for financial consumers.

George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS International, laid much importance on the financial inclusion of poor, migrated, disadvantaged and marginalised people, who many of the times struggle to open a bank account due to absence of a proper identification or address proof. Putting his concern forth, he added that a study in 2009 says that only 13 % people use ATM & Debit card and only 10% people possess life insurance in this country. He further added that only 5.2 percent villages of India and it is matter of grave concern when around 70 percent of people live in villages.

Deputy General Manager, Office of Banking Ombudsman(BO), Jaipur, Smt K Sundari enlightened the audience by presenting an overview of Banking Ombudsman and mechanism of seeking redressal through BO Sundari also briefed the participants about fairness in financial services and demanded RBI to intervene in case of financial abuses.

Justice Vinod Shankar Dave, former Chairman, Rajasthan State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission shared his personal and professional experience of legal field and emphasized on behavioural aspect of consumer and service provider relationships and constraints due to ignorance.

Mr. S N Senapati, AGM, Banking Ombudsman Office s stated prime importance on roles of regulatory bodies like SEBI, IRDA & RBI and briefly about fairness and transparency in contracts in relation to availability, accessibility and affordability of services rendered to the consumers.

The session was co-ordinated by Mr. Deepak Saxena, Programme Officer and vote of thanks was given by Mr. Amarjeet Singh, Project Coordinator, CUTS.

For more information please contact:
Deepak Saxena (+91- 9351366827) / Amarjeet Singh (+91-9829015812)
CUTS Center for Consumer Action, Research & Training (CUTS- CART)
D-222, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park Jaipur 302 016, India
Ph: 91.141.5133259, 2282 823/2282 482
Fax: 91.141. 4015395
Email: granirca@cuts.org; cart@cuts.org
Project webpage: www.cuts-international.org/cart/GRANIRCA