New Delhi: Telecom watchdog TRAI Monday said seven banks, including SBI, ICICI and HDFC Bank, were involved in pesky communications and warned that their telecom resources could be disconnected if they fail to submit a report on the nature of non-compliance and action taken.
The errant banks which also include PNB, Citi, Axis and Kotak Mahindra are found to be marketing their products and services using unregistered telemarketers, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a statement.
Issuing stringent rules last month, TRAI had said phone connections of banks, insurance firms and realty players would be disconnected if they or entities on their behalf flouted the rules.
The new rules issued by the authority include a fine of Rs 5,000 per complaint on a telecom firm if found that the UCC (Unsolicited Commercial Communication) was made by unregistered telemarketers using its network.
On receipt of third complaint, the telecom resources of the entity on whose behalf the communication was sent should be disconnected, TRAI said.
However, despite that it has come to TRAI's notice that some of the major banks and financial institutions have continued violation of the provisions by marketing their products and services through unregistered telemarketers.
"In terms of the regulations, the service providers are mandated to disconnect all the telecom resources of these banks," it said.
However, keeping the larger public interest in view and to prevent public inconvenience, the Authority has decided to exercise temporary regulatory forbearance.
"...Has directed the banks to look into the specific cases of breach, initiate corrective action and report back to the Authority within a period of seven days, failing which the banks are liable to have all their telecom resources disconnected throughout the country," TRAI said.
The Authority said it has taken a series of measures for addressing the menace of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC).
However, large number of complaints continued to be received from customers regarding calls or SMSes originated by unregistered telemarketers on behalf of banks, insurance companies, builders etc.