In November 2003, RBI constituted the Committee on Procedures and Performance Audit of Public Services under the Chairmanship of Shri S.S.Tarapore (former Deputy Governor) to address the issues relating to availability of adequate Banking Services to common man. The mandate to the Committee included identification of factors that inhibited the attainment of best customer services and suggesting steps to improve the quality of banking services to individual customers. The Committee felt that in an effort to continuously upgrade the package of services that banks offered to their customers there was a need of benchmarking of such services. After in depth study at the grass root level the Committee concluded that there was an institutional gap for measuring the performance of banks against a bench mark reflecting the best practices (Code and Standards). Therefore, the Committee recommended setting up of the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India
broadly on the lines of Banking Codes and Standards Board functioning in U.K.
Among the existing institutional structures, the Scheme of Banking Ombudsman, which has been functioning for quite some time, does not look into systemic issues with a view to enforcing a prescribed quality of service. Ideally, such a function should be performed by a Self Regulatory Organisation (SRO) but in view of the existing framework of the banking sector in India, it was felt that an independent, autonomous Board will be best suited for the function. Therefore, Dr. Y.V. Reddy, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, in his Monetary Policy Statement (April 2005) announced setting up of the banking Codes and standards Board of India in order to ensure that comprehensive code of conduct for fair treatment of customers was evolved and adhered to.
The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India has been registered as a separate society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Therefore, it would function as an independent and autonomous body.
The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India is not a Department of the RBI. Reserve Bank has agreed to lend it financial support for a limited period. It is an independent banking industry watch dog to ensure that the consumer of banking services get what they are promised by the banks.
To ensure that the Board really functions as an autonomous and independent watchdog of the industry, the Reserve Bank also decided to extend financial support to the Board by way of meeting its full expenses for the first five years. This was to enable the Board to reach its economic critical mass that will make it truly independent in its functioning and take a view on any bank without its existence coming under any threat. On its part, RBI would derive supervisory comfort in case of banks which are members of the Board. In substance, the Board has been set up to ensure that common man as a consumer of financial services from the banking Industry is in a no way at a disadvantageous position and really gets what it has been promised.