A total of 7,813 complaints have been received against banks and NBFCs pertaining to digital lending apps and recovery agents under the Integrated Ombudsman Scheme of RBI during the period April 1, 2021 to March 3, this year.
Most of the complaints pertain to lending apps promoted by entities not regulated by the RBI such as companies other than NBFCs, unincorporated bodies and individuals.
Major concerns raised in such complaints were issues of exorbitant interest and charges levied by digital lending apps, and harassment of customers for loan repayments.
In a reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday, the Finance ministry said that RBI had cautioned the general public not to fall prey to unscrupulous activities of unauthorised digital lending platforms/ Mobile Apps and verify the antecedents of the company offering such loans.
The RBI has also issued advisories to state governments to keep a check on unauthorised digital lending platforms/ mobile apps through their respective law enforcement agencies.
The RBI has constituted a Working Group on digital lending including lending through online platforms and mobile apps, to study all aspects of digital lending activities in the regulated financial sector as well as by unregulated players.
The thrust of the report has been on enhancing customer protection and making the digital lending ecosystem safe and sound while encouraging innovation.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced "The Reserve Bank - Integrated Ombudsman Scheme, 2021" wherein complaints against Banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) regarding digital lending can be lodged. Under the said scheme, the Ombudsman shall have power to pass an award for any consequential loss suffered by complainant up to Rs 20 lakh, in addition to, up to Rs 1 lakh for the loss of the complainant's time, expenses incurred and for harassment/mental anguish suffered by the complainant.