RBI had advised banks to review their existing lending policies to MSMEs: SS Mundra
Mumbai, June 1 (KNN) With a view to provide timely financial support to MSMEs facing financial difficulties during their Life Cycle, RBI had advised the banks to review their existing lending policies and incorporating therein, among others, provisions for sanctioning of Standby Credit Facility in case of term loans, Additional Working Capital Limits, Mid Term Review of Regular Working Capital Limits, and Timelines for Credit Decisions, said SS Mundra, Deputy Governor, RBI.
Mundra was addressing the Annual Conference of Principal Code Compliance Officers organized by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) in Mumbai. He was speaking on the topic ‘Customer Service in Banks: Time to Raise the Bar!’
Mundra said RBI has recently set out guidelines on ‘Framework for Revival and Rehabilitation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ for early resolution of stress in the accounts of MSMEs, following an ordinance by Government of India.
Under this framework, the revival and rehabilitation of MSME units having loan limits up to Rs.25 crore is envisaged.
Elaborating on the way forward, Mundra said, “In view of new developments in the area of banking, BCSBI would have to proactively identify the areas in which the Codes need to be revised and made contemporaneous.”
He reiterated that work towards operationalizing a query portal which will be useful for the inexperienced frontline staff especially in view of higher attrition/rotation. This would enable them to impart correct information rather than avoiding or giving wrong information.
He said up-dation of Code of Bank’s Commitment to Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) should include commitment on revival and rehabilitation framework and lifecycle financing of MSMEs.
“Though the BOs don’t intervene in credit decisions, several complaints about delayed decision-making in granting of loans to MSMEs, education and housing loans are received. There is a need to include a suitable clause in the code for setting deadline for decision-making on such loans,” he said.
The payment system area has become quite integrated with customers of non-bank players utilizing the banking channels to fund their e- wallets etc. In situations where conflict arises, it would be expected of banks, being the senior and long –established players to take initiative for quick resolution so that the customer is not put to harassment.
Lessen the frustration faced by the customers while dealing with call centers or automated response systems. In this context, while the efforts by some of the banks to use artificial intelligence-driven chatbot for enhancing customer service are welcome, it needs to be ensured that the customers do not end up receiving robotic responses!, Mundra said.
He stressed on the idea of ‘account number portability’.
He said, “I first advocated a couple of years ago. Back then the concept might have appeared somewhat abstract but with technological advancements in the field of payment system such as UPI etc. coupled with massive enrolments under Aadhaar and their linkage to individual bank accounts, it has come within the realms of possibility. As such, the prospect of an aggrieved customer silently moving her account to another bank in the near future has become very real.” (KNN Bureau)
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