The RBI today launched 'Ombudsman Scheme' for non-banking financial companies (NBFC), that sell range of financial products including insurance, for redressal of complaints against them. 


"The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the Scheme," the central bank said. 

The offices of the NBFC ombudsmen will function at four metro centres — Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. 


They will handle complaints of customers in the respective zones. 


"To begin with, the Scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs. Based on the experience gained, the RBI would extend the scheme to cover NBFCs having asset size of Rs 100 crore and above with customer interface," the RBI said. 


The Scheme provides for an Appellate mechanism under which the complainant/ NBFC has the option to appeal against the decision of the Ombudsman before the Appellate Authority.


In a frequently asked questions (FAQ) released by the RBI on the Ombudsman Scheme, the RBI said that for redressal of grievance, the complainant must first approach the concerned NBFC. 


"If the NBFC does not reply within a period of one month after receipt of the complaint, or the NBFC rejects the complaint, or if the complainant is not satisfied with the reply given by the NBFC, the complainant can file the complaint with the NBFC Ombudsman under whose jurisdiction the branch/ registered office of the NBFC falls," it said. 


As per the FAQ, the NBFC Ombudsman does not charge any fee for filing and resolving customers' complaints.