Credit Information Companies (CICs) will have to appoint an Internal Ombudsman by April 1, 2023, according to the framework announced by the Reserve Bank of India on 6th of October.
“These directions are introduced with a view to strengthening the internal grievance redress mechanism within the CIC by enabling a review of customer complaints before their rejection by an independent apex level authority within the CIC,” RBI said.
Every CIC should appoint an Internal Ombudsman for a fixed term of not less than three years, but not exceeding five years. The IO should be either a retired or a serving officer, not below the rank of Deputy General Manager or equivalent, in any financial sector regulatory body, CIC, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) or bank, with at least seven years’ experience in banking, non-banking finance, financial sector regulation or supervision, credit information or consumer protection.
The Internal Ombudsman will not handle complaints received directly from the complainants or members of the public and, instead, deal only with complaints that have already been examined by the CIC, but have been partly or wholly rejected by it. But complaints related to fraud, misappropriation, etc., except those resulting from a deficiency in service, if any, on the part of the CIC will not be under the purview of the ombudsman.
Complaints/ references relating to internal administration, human resources, or pay and emoluments of staff will also be outside the purview.
Currently, there are four CICs — Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL), Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd, Experian Credit Information Company of India Pvt Ltd and CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd. These companies are governed by the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act (CICRA) in 2005.