This information is contained in the OBS annual report that looks at the 2020 period. The report reveals that the OBS opened 7 717 cases in 2020 – a new record. File photo.
This information is contained in the OBS annual report that looks at the 2020 period. The report reveals that the OBS opened 7 717 cases in 2020 – a new record. File photo.

Absa complaints the lowest among big five banks finds bank Ombuds

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published May 13, 2021

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Financial Services Absa Bank saw the number of complaints opened against it with the ombudsman for banking services (OBS) decrease from 1 483 in 2019 to 943 cases in 2020. This is a 36% decrease from the previous year.

This information is contained in the OBS annual report that looks at the 2020 period. The report reveals that the OBS opened 7 717 cases in 2020 – a new record.

The report stated that most complaints opened in 2020 were from Gauteng at 50% (44% in 2019), followed by Western Cape, at 17% (15% in 2019), and KwaZulu-Natal, at 12% (13% in 2019).

Most complaints recorded were from people over 40 and related to current accounts, credit cards, and internet banking fraud.

According to the report, FNB had 2 197 complaints opened against it, a 22% increase from 2019; Standard Bank 1 572, an increase of 28%;, Nedbank 1 217, an increase of 10%; and, Capitec Bank 1 259 a 39% increase.

Ombud Reana Steyn said the number of files opened against a bank should not necessarily be regarded as an indication of that bank’s overall or complaints handling performance.

She said banks varied in size, client profile and product mix. She added that fraudsters seemed to target certain groups of customers.

“All of these factors impact on the number of complaints made against any given bank,” she said.

According to the report, the percentage of internet banking complaints decreased and was no longer the largest category of complaints received.

In all age categories, internet banking dropped from being the most complained about category and was replaced by current account complaints.

The top categories for 2020.

1. Current accounts (19% of complaints)

2. Internet banking (13%)

3. Credit cards (11%)

4. Personal loans (11%)

5. ATM (9%)

Covid-19 as a standalone category, made up 2% (143) of cases opened in 2020. Steyn said complaints related to the pandemic were reported in the above sub-categories.

Personal loan complaints made up 11% (831 cases) of the complaints received in 2020 which is consistent with the previous year. The OBS found in favour of the complainants in 31% (225) of the cases.

The report stated that mortgage loan finance complaints accounted for 8% (583) of the complaints received of which 72% (428 cases) were in favour of the bank while 28% (155 cases) were in the customers’ favour.

The report said vehicle finance accounted for 7% (454 cases) of the complaints received, only 1% less than the previous two years. In 78% (367) of the complaints, the OBS found in the bank's favour. The OBS found in favour of the complainants in 22% (87) of the complaints.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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