Nightingale

Changing lives of the people……

Fair Practice Code

Click here to view in vernacular language

Nightingale Finvest Private Limited (“Nightingale”) seeks to economically empower the low income segment, especially women by providing access to need based financial services in a cost effective manner on a sustainable basis. In keeping with this mission, Nightingale has drafted and adopted its Fair Practice Code on the lines of RBI circular on Fair Practices Code RBI/2015-16/16 DNBR (PD) CC.No.054/03.10.119/2015-16 dated 1st July 2015 and up dated as per RBI Circular No.RBI.2016-17 (DNBR.PD.008/01.10.119/2016-17 dated 01.09.2016).

The objective of the Fair Practice Code is to maintain integrity, transparency, quality of service, fair practice, privacy of customer information, integrating social values into operations, and feedback and grievance redressal mechanism.

The Fair Practice Code as approved by the Board of Directors of the Company is available in English as well as vernacular language on the website of the Company. The FPC is also displayed in all our offices and branch premises.

The Code as adopted by Nightingale is enumerated below:

1.

General

(a) A statement articulating our commitment to transparency and fair lending practices, in vernacular language, shall be displayed in the premises.

(b) The KYC-AML Guidelines of RBI shall be complied with. Due diligence shall be carried out to ensure the repayment capacity of the borrowers.

(c) The effective rate of interest charged and the grievance redressal system etc shall be prominently displayed in all our offices and on website.

(d) The Company will be accountable for preventing inappropriate staff behaviour and timely grievance redressal.


2.

Applications for loans and their processing
(a) All communications to the borrower shall be in the vernacular language or a language as understood by the borrower.
(b) Procedure for application of loan shall not be cumbersome.
(c) Loan application forms shall include necessary information affecting the interest of the borrower, so that a meaningful comparison with the terms and conditions offered by other NBFCs can be made and informed decision can be taken by the borrower. The loan application form shall indicate the documents required to be submitted with the application form.
(d) A system of giving acknowledgement for receipt of all loan applications, preferably, the time frame within which loan applications will be disposed shall be indicated in the acknowledgement.

3.

Loan appraisal and terms/conditions


(a) The Company’s field officers are trained to make necessary enquiries with regard to existing debt of the borrowers. This is done to ensure that Nightingale is either the 1st lender or at most the 2nd, with the overall indebtedness of borrower household not exceeding Rs. 1,00,000/-.


(b)The Company shall convey in writing to the borrower in the vernacular language as understood by the borrower by means of sanction letter or otherwise, the amount of loan sanctioned along with the terms and conditions including annualised rate of interest and method of application thereof and keep the acceptance of these terms and conditions by the borrower on its record.


(c)The Company shall furnish a copy of the loan agreement, /loan card preferably in vernacular language as understood by the borrower along with a copy each of all enclosures quoted in the loan agreement to all the borrowers at the time of sanction/disbursement of loan.

(d) The standard Loan Agreement format has been approved by the Board of Directors and shall disclose the following:
i) All the terms and conditions of the loan,
ii) that the pricing of the loan involves only three components viz; the interest charge, loan processing fees and the actual cost of insurance premium
iii) that there will be no penalty charged on delayed payment,
iv) that no Security Deposit / Margin is being collected from the borrower,
v) that the borrower cannot be a member of more than one SHG / JLG,
vi) the moratorium between the grant of the loan and the due date of the repayment of the first instalment(as guided by the NBFC-MFIs(Reserve Bank) Directions, 2011),
vii) an assurance that the privacy of borrower data will be respected.

4.

Disbursement of loans

(a) All sanctions and disbursement of loans shall be done only at a central location and more than one individual shall be involved in this function. In addition, there shall be close supervision of the disbursement function.


(b) Loan disbursements are done as per pre determined time structure.


(c) The loan card (pass book) should reflect the following details as specified in the Non-Banking Financial Company - Micro Finance Institutions (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2011.
i) the effective rate of interest charged
ii) all other terms and conditions attached to the loan
iii) Information which adequately identifies the borrower and
(iv) Acknowledgement of all repayments including instalments received and the final discharge.
(v) Description of the grievance redressal system set up by the Company and also the name and contact number of the nodal officer
(vi) Non-credit products issued shall be with full consent of the borrowers and fee structure shall be communicated in the loan card itself.
(vii) All entries in the Loan Card should be in the vernacular language.

(d) The Company shares complete customer data with Equifax and HighMark (both RBI approved Credit Bureaus).

(e) In case of receipt of request from the borrower for transfer of borrowal account, the consent or otherwise i.e. objection of the Company, if any, should be conveyed within 21 days from the date of receipt of request. Such transfer shall be as per transparent contractual terms in consonance with law.


5.

Pricing of loans
(a) The interest charged by the Company on its loan products are in compliance with RBI’s guidelines with regard to margin cap.
(b) Loan Processing Fees @__1%_ are recovered from the customers.
(c) As per the IRDA guidelines, the Company recovers only the actual cost of insurance for the insurance it offers to its customer segment.
(d) The Company shall not charge penal interest for delayed payment or pre payment penalties.
(e) Notice to the borrower in the vernacular language or a language as understood by the borrower of any change in the terms and conditions including disbursement schedule, interest rates, service charges, repayment charges etc. be given by the Company. Interest rates and charges would be effected in prospectively and a suitable condition in this regard be incorporated in loan agreement.
(f) The Company has adopted an interest rate model taking into account relevant factors such as cost of funds, margin and risk premium and determine the rate of interest to be charged for loans and advances. The rate of interest and the approach for gradations of risk and rationale for charging different rate of interest to different categories of borrowers is disclosed to the borrower or customer in the application form and communicated explicitly in the sanction letter.

(g) The rate of interest is annualised rate so the borrower is aware of the exact rates that would be charged to the account.

6.

Recovery of loans 
(a)Recovery will normally be made only at a central designated place. Field staff shall be allowed to make recovery at the place of residence or work of the borrower only if borrower fails to appear at central designated place on 2 or more successive occasions.
(b)Recovery will normally be made only at a central designated place. Field staff shall be allowed to make recovery at the place of residence or work of the borrower only if borrower fails to appear at central designated place on 2 or more successive occasions.
(c)We shall ensure that the staff are adequately trained to deal with the customers in an appropriate manner.
(d) The Company releases all securities (i.e. documents) on repayment of all securities (i.e. documents) on repayment of all dues or on realization of the outstanding amount.

7.

Staff Training
(a) The Company shall ensure that a Board approved policy is in place with regard to Code of Conduct by field staff and systems for their recruitment, training and supervision. The Code will lay down minimum qualifications necessary for the field staff and shall have necessary training tools identified for them to deal with the customers.
(b)Training to field staff shall include programs to inculcate appropriate behaviour towards borrowers without adopting any abusive or coercive debt collection / recovery practices. Compensation methods for staff will have more emphasis on areas of service and borrower satisfaction than merely the number of loans mobilized and the rate of recovery. Penalties may also be imposed on cases of non-compliance of field staff with the Code of conduct. Generally only employees and not out sourced recovery agents are used for recovery in sensitive areas.
(c) Field Staff shall be trained so as to refrain from interference in the affairs of the borrower except for the purposes provided in the terms and conditions of the loan agreement (unless information, not earlier disclosed by the borrower, has been noticed).
(d) Field staff will be trained properly to make necessary enquiries with regard to existing debt of the borrowers.
(e) Field staff may also be trained to offer training, if required to the borrowers, so that they are fully aware of the procedure and systems related to loan/other products.

8.

Language and mode of communicating Fair Practice Code
Fair Practice Code (which shall preferably in the vernacular language or a language as undertood by the borrower) based on the directions outlined hereinabove is put in place having customer interface with the approval of the Board. The fair practice code is put up in the Company’s web-site for the information of various stakeholders.

9.

Responsibility of Board of Directors
(a)The Board of Directors of the Company has adopted an interest rate model taking into account relevant factors such as cost of funds, margin and risk premium and determine the rate of interest to be charged for loans and advances. The rate of interest and the approach for gradations of risk and rationale for charging different rate of interest to different categories of borrowers is disclosed to the borrower or customer in the application form and communicate explicitly in the sanction letter
(b)Board of Directors have laid down the appropriate grievance redressal mechanism within the organization to resolve disputes arising in this regard. Such a mechanism ensures that all disputes arising out of the decisions of lending institutions functionaries are heard and disposed of at least at the next higher level.
(c)The Board of Directors periodically reviews the compliance of the Fair Practices Code and the functioning of the grievances redressal mechanism at various levels of management. A consolidated report of such reviews shall be submitted to the Board quarterly.
(d)The Company has made organizational arrangements to assign responsibility for compliance to designated individuals within the company and establish systems of internal control including audit and periodic inspection to ensure the same.
(e) A declaration is given in the loan agreement that the Company is accountable for preventing inappropriate staff behaviour and timely grievance redressal be made and also in FPC displayed in Company’s office/branch premises.

10.

Grievance Redressal Officer
At the operational level, the Company has displayed the following information prominently, for the benefit of the customers, at all branches / places where business is transacted:

a) the name and contact details (Telephone / Mobile nos. as also email address) of the Grievance Redressal Officer who can be approached by the customers for resolving the complaints against the Company.
b) If the complaint / dispute is not redressed within a period of one month, the customer may appeal to the Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Office of DNBS of RBI (complete contact details), under whose jurisdiction the registered office of the Company (NBFC) falls. The complete contact details of the of the said Officer-in-Charge will be available at the branch premises.
Compliant/Grievance escalation matrix:

Level Time lapse since 1st complaint Contact person’s Name/Designation Contact Details
1 Branch level 3 days Branch Head Printed on the loan card
At Branch Office & Premises
2. Customer Care Executive 2 days Pratap Chakravarty, Director(Operation) Administrative Office, Chakradhar Villa, Chandmari, Guwahati-781003,Assam, Mobile No.9954020901
3. Grievance Redressal Officer 2 days Gopal Chandra Kalita, Adviser Administrative Office, Chakradhar Villa, Chandmari, Guwahati-781003,Assam,Mobile No.9864029105,
E-mail nightingale20006@gmail.com
4.Managing Director 1 day Mantu Nath Sarma, Managing Director Administrative Office, Chakradhar Villa, Chandmari,
Guwahati-781003,Assam,Mobile No.9954758857
5. RBI 30 days Officer-in-Charge, Regional Office, Department of NonBanking Supervision Reserve Bank of India Reserve Bank of India,
Pan Bazaar, Station Road,
Guwahati - 781 001,
Tel: 91361-2540256


11.

Internal Audit System
The Company has established an internal audit team for periodic inspection of the branches, ensuring compliance with the Fair Practice Code and proper functioning of the Grievance Redressal Mechanism implemented by the Company.

(The updated Fair Practice Code as per RBI circular No.RBI/2015-16/16 (DNBR(PD)CC.No.054/03.10.119/2015-16 dated 01.07.2015) is adopted by the Board of Directors of Nightingale Finvest Private Ltd. In its meeting held on 03.02.2016).