Financial Ombudsman weighs nexus between bank and customer
Financial Ombudsman Ubhayasekara Mapa underscored the importance for
banks to consider their clients as humans and not merely as files and
“It is of paramount importance that banks and financial institutions
understand and trust their customers and the process has to work on a
basis of reciprocity which will minimize disputes,” Mapa told Daily News
Commenting on the lapses of a commercial banks, there was an instance
of a client having settled a 15 year-loan in 6 years for which he had
not been given any relief but had been made to pay the interest for the
full 15 years. This is one area that banks can help clients, he
Commenting on the lapses of clients, he said that therTigo has now
started to issue “ certificate of ownership” cards for their current and
The new regulations introduced by the Telecommunication Regulatory
Commission TRC require mobile customers to submit to the law enforcement
authorities a proof of ownership of the mobile phones that they are
The new regulations are to protect the consumer and were implemented
in the interest of National security.
CEO of Tigo Dumindra Rathnayaka said the Tigo is fully prepared to
implement the new regulations.
We have developed a system to issue current and new customers with a
certification of ownership.
This will be a plastic card containing the customer’s name, mobile
number, NIC or Passport number.
This card will help Tigo customers to prove the ownership of the
mobile he or she is carrying at any place.
All current Tigo customers are encouraged to re-register their
connections at the Tigo head office, Tigo Zone and any of the 29 main
dealer locations and obtain an ownership certificate without delay.
“Tigo customers will be able to obtain their ownership certifications
from nearly 500 main dealer locations in near future”, he said.
New subscribers will be issued first with a temporary certificate
upon buying their activation and provision of the necessary
This temporary certificate is valid for three months after which a
permanent certificate will be issued. e are some customers who come with
the wrong perceptions living in the problem even if there is a bona-fide
mistake on the part of the financial institution.
He said that there was a customer of a private commercial bank who
saw a certain amount credited to his account tried to claim the monies
despite realising that it was a bona-fide mistake by the bank.
This customer had complained to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, who in
turn had contacted the Financial Ombudsman. The customer when
confronted, had disclosed untruths to the Ombudsman, by claiming that
those funds had been deposited by a friend. But when asked for the
deposit slip, he had been found out, he said.
The second malady had been when banks issue credit cards to
youngsters without any collateral and the only collateral is the salary.
These customers also face problems when they are terminated while
banks have no recourse to recover the funds.
The banks should insist on collateral or otherwise they should be
prepared to write off the funds without which they get recovery agents
to exert pressure on the borrower and sometimes by unscrupulous means as
well, he said.
There had also been another instance where the sister-in-law of a
migrant worker in the Gulf had fraudulently withdrawn the funds of the
owner of the account by forging documents.
On probing the complaint, the bank, in a magnanimous gesture had
settled the funds of the holder of the account. The suspect is now in
The office of the Financial Ombudsman is encouraging from the
perspective of customers and clients who have grievances and they have
an opportunity for settlements which otherwise would have been subject
to litigation which also costs money, he said.