UAE Central Bank unveils online complaint management system

The complaint system has linked all banks and financial institutions

By Haseeb Haider

Published: Thu 11 Sep 2014, 11:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:46 PM

A Sharjah-based Pakistani national Idris Sherwani is still awaiting his bank to sort out a complain he lodged five years ago against stealing of Dh38,500 from his credit card.

Instead of compensating him, his bank asked him to arrange the payment of the stolen money immediately, which he did not. And the end result was that the bank encashed a Dh24,000 security cheque and started charging interest on the remaining balance.

The case is in limbo, with no action, what so ever. There are many other complaints against banks/financial institutions.

The UAE Central Bank, which has taken a number of reforms in the banking industry in order to make it more efficient and responsive, since the 2008 global financial meltdown, has launched an integrated Online Complaint Management System. The system, which went online on September 1, 2014, has opened a window of fresh air to bank customers, like Idris Sherwani, whose complaints were unheard by their respective banks, and other institutions regulated by the UAE Central Bank.

In a circular, 212/2014 Saeed Abdulla Al Hamiz, Assistant Governor for Banking Supervision of the UAE Central Bank, has confirmed the establishment of an Integrated Online Complaint Management System (OCMS).

The complaint system has linked all banks and financial institutions in one integrated system through which complaints sent to the central bank will be addressed and responded to.

The OMCS will track and follow-up status of complaints. It has set a timeframe for receiving bank’s responses and tabulate statistics on customer complaints and customers satisfaction.

In order to make the complaint system produce real results, each bank has assigned two officers to handle OCMS and register through the UAEARS system, which is a measure that will produce quick results.

The officers will coordinate progress made on resolving the complaints and keep the central bank updated on the measures, initiatives adopted to satisfy the customer.

A senior banker welcomed the move by the UAE Central Bank, saying it will no longer allow banks and financial institutions to play around with their customers’ complaints, which they had been doing earlier.

Asked about the complaints, he receives in route, he said hacking of bank account/credit cards have been reduced a bit due to foolproof IT security measures, but they do take place.

Other complains includes change in interest rates when customers ignore banks’ letters informing them of new rates to be applicable, over charging of services charges, fees, which many banks have already specified. Sometimes customers complain of lost of remittance, and other trade documents.

The central bank initiative will force banks/financial institutions to improve on their service delivery mechanism, and sort out complaints lodged with them with delay, because now they are answerable to the central bank officials on real time basis.


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