New Delhi: The State Bank of India (SBI) has been directed by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 34,000 to a customer for violating RBI norms by refunding after 189 days an amount which was erroneously debited from his account after an unsuccessful ATM transaction.
The North East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that SBI had not adhered to Reserve Bank of India`s (RBI) directive under which it was obligated to credit back the amount within seven days.
"The RBI directive specifically says that such an amount should be credited within seven days else they (banks) are bound to pay such victim of the ATM fraud Rs 100 per day. In the present case the delay is of 189 days, the complainant is entitled to Rs 18,900 on account of delayed payment.
"It (SBI) is not adhering to the instructions stipulated in the said directives which needs to be checked," a bench presided by N A Zaidi and also directed SBI to pay Rs 16,000 as compensation to Delhi resident Subodh Kumar.
The forum noted that initially SBI had said the transaction was successful, yet after over seven months it credited back the amount and observed the case "is an example of the fraud which is being played by the banks" on innocent customers.
The forum also asked the Ministry of Finance and RBI to evolve a mechanism to protect interests of customers in such cases where ATM transactions are unsuccessful but the amount is debited from their account.
The order came on the complaint by Kumar who had alleged that on February 23, 2012 when he tried to withdraw Rs 10,000 from his SBI account through a Punjab National Bank (PNB) ATM, no amount was disbursed but Rs 10,000 was debited from him.
He had immediately informed SBI about the failed transaction and the bank had assured him that the amount would be credited in his account within 72 hours, he had alleged, adding that despite repeated requests, his grievance was not redressed till filing of the complaint.
In its response filed before the forum, PNB had submitted that it had transferred the amount back to Kumar`s SBI account on September 28, 2012.