Grievance Collection and Redressal Mechanism(GCRM)

     
  Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. (Bandhan) is a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Bandhan is engaged in the delivery of microfinance services. It is reaching out to more than 6 million clients through 2,022 branches spread across 22 states & union territories with a special focus on the underserved Eastern and North eastern parts of the country. The book size stands at nearly Rs. 7,800 crores. Commensurate with its huge size and operations across a wide geography, the company has put in place a comprehensive system for client protection. Bandhan, being a systemically important company and in compliance to the requirements of RBI has already put in place a Grievance Collection and Redressal Mechanism (GCRM). A copy of the Fair Practice Code incorporating the same is also available on the website www.bandhanmf.com  
     
 
Constituents of the Grievance Collection and Redressal Mechanism (GCRM)
 
 
Helpline:
Bandhan has a dedicated helpline number 9874 222222 to address any complaints / grievances / queries of the borrowers. A person located at the head office is designated to receive and register the queries / grievances from borrowers and such are dispensed / resolved by appropriate authority on priority basis. Matters requiring immediate attention are escalated in the hierarchy of the appropriate authority and all complaints are simultaneously reported to the Ombudsman Committee which consolidates all such reports and forwards the same to the Board of Directors along with an action taken report.

The helpline number is printed in the passbook of all borrowers / clients of Bandhan.
 
     
 
Complaint box:
Complaint / suggestion box is made available at the disposal of borrowers at each branch office and also at the HO of the company. The helpline number is also duly printed on the box. Anonymous complaints can be dropped into this box which is opened at an interval of 7-15 days in the hands of Regional Manager (RM), a senior level position (not involved in day-to-day operations of the branch) in the field. Proper filing of all complaints is duly done. A summary report of the same is prepared and sent to the head office on a monthly basis. Based on the precedence, the complaints are looked into and responded upon. Serious matters are escalated. The matters that assume importance are brought to the kind attention of the Ombudsman Committee - a 3 member independent and impartial committee for resolving the complaints in fair and transparent manner. The committee members of which are impartial and function independently for resolving the complaints in a fair and transparent manner. An action taken report is also presented to the Board.
 
     
 
E-mail:
Any concern / complain / feedback can be directly sent via e-mail to complaints@bandhanmf.com. The company has assigned this email id specifically as part of the redressal mechanism.

Like above, letters requiring immediate attention are escalated in the hierarchy of the appropriate authority and all complaints are simultaneously reported to the Ombudsman Committee which consolidates all such reports and forwards the same to the Board of Directors along with an action taken report.
 
     
 
Ombudsman Committee:
This committee comprises of 3 senior executives (not associated with field Operations of the company). They function in a very impartial manner. Serious cases arising either from helpline no. or through complain box is dealt with by them. In addition to that, they are also directly available to deal with any grievance. An individual can contact them directly and share their concern / feedback. Their contact number is also available on the company’s website for direct communication.

That apart, the committee members pay surprise visits. Two randomly selected branches are chosen for such visits on monthly basis. All aspects are deeply looked into and analyzed upon during these physical visits by the Committee members. These surprise visits are really productive and the findings that come out of it are really important.

The meeting of the Ombudsman Committee is usually held every month. However, they are at liberty to meet if any occasion of importance arises.
 
     
 
Appraisal of the Grievance Collection and Redressal Mechanism (GCRM)
 
 
Satisfaction studies:
Bandhan has an independent Research Cell that conducts surveys and undertakes studies on various topics. Client and staff satisfaction studies are undertaken on a yearly basis. These studies are incisive and bring out the reasons for the borrower grievances. These yearly studies are meaningful tools to understand the grievances of important stakeholders like our borrowers and staff.
 
     
 
Ratings:
Ever since the inception of the organization, yearly grading is done by independent rating agencies of high repute. These rating exercise are quite detailed and comprehensive. Field visits are duly conducted by the rating team, this helps endorse the above described redressal system.

Apart from yearly grading, Bandhan also conducts Loan portfolio audit, Social rating and others at regular intervals which help to authenticate time-to-time the GCRM.
 
     
 
Internal audit:
Bandhan has a strong internal audit system. Each branch is audited every 3-4 months. The entire system within the company including the redressal mechanisms is monitored throughout and important findings are generated. Any discrepancy or loopholes if any, in the system are highlighted and duly taken care of.
 
     
 
Risk Management Committee:
All borrower specific grave issues arising out of the above mechanisms or those perceived as probable risks for the company are brought to the notice of the Risk Management Committee. This Committee which meets on last Saturday of every month looks into the crucial matters and frames proactive policies in proper management of probable risks.

Bandhan since inception has been a vociferous supporter of ethical practices and it forms the DNA of the organization. It has been very clearly spelt out in its policy that no misconduct / misbehavior will be endured. A detailed circular mentioning the same is circulated / distributed to all branches. In fact, all circulars relating to above are displayed on the notice board of each branch office. If any case of unethical practice or misbehavior is reported, then severe action is mandated by the appropriate authority. The borrower can use any of the above mechanisms to bring her grievance to the notice of the appropriate authority. These redressal mechanisms described above can be used not just by the borrowers, but also by staff and the community.