File a Complaint against Standard Chartered Bank in India

Standard Chartered PLC is a British company that provides Banking and Financial services to its customers worldwide. The bank has got many branches in India and its head office is currently located at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Following are some of the services (or products) that the bank is currently offering in India:

  • Current Account, Savings Account, Employee Banking Account, Term (Fixed) Deposits, Foreign Currency Deposit etc. These products may include facilities like online banking, SMS alerts, withdrawal from ATM etc.
  • Debit and Credit Cards.
  • Equity Solutions (Mutual Funds, Equity Mutual Funds, Balanced Funds, Tax Saving Funds and Equity PMS), Liquidity Solutions (Liquid Mutual Funds, Deposits and Loan Against Securities), Private Equity and Real Estate Funds etc.

I had a terrible experience (I am unable to disclose full details here, but I can assure you that even you will start pulling your hairs if you hear about my experience!) in the past with this bank’s Customer Care Department and Chennai Head Office. I wasted lots of my precious time by contacting this bank again and again and again! Due to this only I am writing this post for my fellow countrymen, who are facing problems with this bank.

If you are also experiencing some sort of problem with this bank’s product or one of its employee, then in this post we will see how to file a complaint against Standard Chartered Bank in India?

Keep in mind that in this post we are going to learn how to file a complaint against this bank with Reserve Bank of India (under Banking Lokpal or Ombudsman Scheme of 2006) and Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as a very last step. So it is very necessary that you should follow this guide very carefully and build a strong case against this bank.

Step 1: Approach your nearest branch of Standard Chartered Bank and tell them (service manager, person who look after their cards department, branch manager etc.) your whole problem in WRITING. In your complaint letter clearly describe your problem either in Hindi or English (try not to write the letter in other languages because you may face problems at a later stage if you escalate your complaint) and don’t forget to write your full name, address, account number, term deposit number, credit or debit card number, demat account number, folio number etc. related to your complaint.

Keep in mind that there’s NO rule that a customer can’t approach a branch manager directly. If you think that a lower level officer is not handling your complaint properly, showing rude attitude or forcing/misguiding you to sign up for additional services/products, then approach the branch manager directly. Also get a receiving copy of your complaint letter with sign and seal of the bank (example here and here) – This is a very important step. With your receiving copy, the bank may also provide you with a complaint number.

Now ask the bank about total number of days they may take to resolve your problem. Suppose their answer is 7 working days, then patiently wait for 7 working days. If your problem don’t get resolved within this period, then proceed to step number 2, instead of going to the branch again and again and wasting your precious time.

Step 2: Email and write your whole problem in details. Don’t forget to mention the complaint number which you got from the branch you visited earlier. If you want then you can also attach a scanned copy of the receiving letter in which you got the seal and sign of the bank or one of its employee.

Note: If you don’t have a scanner, then you can use CamScanner for Android or CamScanner for iOS to snap, crop and auto-enhance the snapped picture using your mobile device’s camera.

As soon as you send your email, you may receive an Acknowledgement Copy from the mail server of Standard Chartered Bank. After 24/48/72 hours someone from their customer care department or head office may call you or send you a reply to your email. Discuss about your problem with their representative over phone or email. If you are discussing your problem on phone, then ask the representative of Standard Chartered Bank to send a WRITTEN REPLY to your email. You may also want to record the entire conversation, if you have an Android powered mobile device.

After this if your problem don’t get resolved or you are not satisfied with their answer, then head over to the next step.

Step 3: Contact Nodal and Principal Nodal Officer of Standard Chartered Bank one by one. Make sure you fully describe your problem, attach necessary files and state the reason why you are not satisfied by the resolution of their customer care department. Ask them to send you their response in WRITING and also record the telephonic conversation with them, if possible.

Your problem should get resolved at this stage. But if your problem don’t get resolved even after sending a complaint to these high level officers or you are not satisfied by their response, then it’s time to knock on the doors of Government of India’s regulators viz. Reserve Bank of India and Securities Exchange Board of India depending on the nature of your complaint.

Step 4: If your problem is related to banking products of Standard Chartered Bank, then you should send your complaint to Reserve Bank of India. And if your problem is related to this bank’s market dependent product then you should send your complaint to SEBI. Under certain cases, you may want to send your complaint to both the authorities!

When you are writing a complaint letter to RBI Ombudsman, always include following details:

  • Your full name and address.
  • Full Address and Area of Operation of Banking Ombudsman – Visit THIS PAGE for a complete list of RBI’s Ombudsman Centers. Keep in mind that you are required to send your complaint to that RBI center where your bank is located, not where you are currently living. For example, if your bank is located at Surat, Gujarat and you are living at Mumbai, Maharashtra, then you should send your complaint to RBI Ahmedabad, not to RBI, Mumbai. Keep in mind that if you don’t send your complaint letter or email to proper center, then your complaint may get fully rejected.
  • Subject of your complaint which should include the name of your bank.
  • Body of your complaint – You should clearly describe your problem, write your account numbers/credit or debit card number etc. Also write about why you are not satisfied with the resolution provided by Standard Chartered Bank. You may also want to include your PAN Card Number, Aadhar Card Number, Driving License number etc.
  • Scanned/xerox copies of necessary documents like your account statement, deposit confirmation advice, previous email conversations with various departments of the bank, receiving copy of the complaint letter etc. related to your complaint. If you have a recording and are sending your complaint via email, then you should send the recording as an attachment.

In case you are writing a complaint to SEBI, then head over to SCORES (Sebi Complaints Redress System), register yourself there and fill the complaint form after logging in. Make sure you include following details in your complaint:

  • Your full name and address.
  • Demat account number (DP ID), Folio number etc.
  • Subject and body of your complaint containing the reason why you are not satisfied with the resolution given by the bank.
  • Scanned/xerox copies of necessary documents.
  • More details/documents depending on the nature of your complaint.

In case of any problem or doubt, you can directly contact SEBI using their toll free helpline numbers listed on the SCORES website. I have personally talked to the representatives of SEBI many times and they are very nice and give you all information with full patience.

Keep in mind that the representative may not be able to register your complaints on phone. For registering your complaints, you need to register yourself on SCORES website. For more information about SCORES’s operation, you can check out this PDF file.

Once you have sent your complaint to RBI and SEBI, you will get your unique complaint number (example here and here) after some days/months depending on the type of medium (email or snail mail) you used to send them the complaint. If due to some reason they don’t accept your complaint, then they may send you a letter/email stating the reason of rejection.

RBI and SEBI may take 30 to 90 days (can be more) to investigate on your complaint. They may even force (Yes! they are very powerful authorities) the bank to give you proper resolution/answer. I am sure that you won’t be disappointed by both RBI and SEBI.

I sincerely hope that this guide helps you in resolving your problem with Standard Chartered Bank. If not then you may want to go to consumer forum/court or take advice from a good lawyer in your area.

Important notes:

  • If your attachments are very large, then you can host them on the cloud like on Dropbox, Google Drive etc.
  • A “consumer forum” is not a judicial entity, while a “consumer court” is.
  • The Banking Ombudsman can only accept your grievances related to certain deficiencies in banking services. All those deficiencies are listed on THIS PAGE.