CBE Lays Down Guidelines For Banks On Handling Customer Complaints

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(MENAFN- Daily News Egypt) The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has released comprehensive guidelines for banks, detailing the required procedures for addressing customer complaints effectively.

In its recent circular to all banks, the CBE emphasized the importance of adhering to these guidelines to safeguard customer rights. The aim is to ensure that complaints are resolved in a manner that is fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory, thereby reinforcing consumer trust in the banking sector and promoting wider financial inclusion.

According to the CBE, a ‘complaint’ encompasses any form of communication, including sign language for individuals with disabilities, that indicates a customer’s dissatisfaction with services provided by the bank, its outsourced partners, payment service providers, or affiliated agents. Complaints may arise from actual or potential financial losses, moral grievances, service or product quality issues, denial of service, negligence, errors, or any form of unsatisfactory interaction with the customer.

Banks are required to report all received complaints to the CBE’s Customer Protection and Competition Sector via the Customer Rights Protection Unit every quarter, no later than 30 days following the end of each quarter.

Moreover, banks are mandated to establish and maintain transparent, effective, and independent complaint resolution mechanisms. These mechanisms must be accessible to customers free of charge throughout the complaint process.

The CBE insists on banks providing adequate resources to the Customer Protection Unit and other relevant departments to ensure efficient complaint handling. Banks are also instructed to offer multiple channels for lodging complaints, including in-person submissions at bank branches, telephone, fax, email, direct engagement with the Customer Rights Protection Unit, and through various social media platforms.

Banks are expected to assess complaints with due diligence, impartiality, and efficiency. They must also gather any additional information needed to fully investigate the complaint promptly upon its submission.

In handling complaints, banks should evaluate them swiftly and equitably, adhere to the principle of good faith, and avoid requesting irrelevant documents or information.

Finally, the CBE requires banks to issue a written or electronic response to customer complaints within a maximum of 15 days from receipt. Exceptions apply to complaints involving external entities, such as other banks or service providers. Responses should either acknowledge the complaint and propose remedial actions, provide a rationale for rejecting the complaint, or suggest alternative solutions in cases where the bank is not at fault.

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