RBI directive for home loans
New RBI directive for home loans
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 11:57
- Published on Wednesday, 07 January 2009 14:46
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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has in the latest directive asked the Indian banks to be more "fair and transparent" while signing their agreements with the consumers. This has come following complaints from various consumer sections regarding home loans.
It has emphasized on the fact that while giving a home loan, the banks should not tie their loans with their own prime lending rates (PLR) which often results in pro-bank and against consumer interest.
- Households should get credit counseling before signing any loan agreement. In such case, banks should give credit counseling to customer before giving a loan. Any non-governmental organization can also give independent credit counseling to small borrowers.
- Consumers often complain of not receiving benefits of falling interest rates as banks tie their floating rate loans with its PLR and even when rates fall, the banks kept the PLR unchanged. But when interest rates are hiked, the banks increase the benchmark rate, thus making customers pay a higher rate and consequently increase the number of EMIs too. The RBI has asked the banks to mend rules for the same.
- Individual borrowers should ask for the exact tenure and EMI while taking a fixed rate loan. The RBI has also resolved to look into all consumer complaints if it is bought to the regulator's notice.
- The IRDA (insurance regulator) has powers to take action against banks if a customer feels cheated while buying an insurance product. On its regulatory role, the RBI is trying to maintain a balance between the extent of freedom granted to the banks and the objectives of governance.
- RBI has made it mandatory for all banks - including private and foreign banks - to offer a passbook to their customers with the address and telephone number of the nearest branch.
- Customers have often been harassed by banks' call centers where there is no accountability of the query made. The "do not call" registry has also been flouted by banks as customers are bombarded with unnecessary product offerings. The RBI has directed the Indian Banks' Association to come out with a single "do not call" registry or when a customer adds his name to a single bank registry it should then stop unsolicited calls from all banks.
- On rising credit card frauds and wrong statements given by the banks, the RBI has asked the customers to approach the ombudsman to redress their problems. This way the RBI feels would inculcate more consumer friendly practices among Indian banks.