The Ombudsman for Banking Services, fielded 26970 calls to their call centre, which is an 18% increase year on year and 58% more than the past two years. Photo: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The Ombudsman for Banking Services, which deals with customer complaints about their banks, fielded 26970 calls to their call centre, which is an 18% increase year on year and 58% more than the past two years.

Releasing its annual report for 2018, the Banking Ombud, Reana Steyn, said complaints like internet banking fraud and ATM- and credit card-related complaints kept their office busy. The office opened 1459 and closed 1349 internet banking fraud cases for the year.

“It is evident from the numbers of complaints that our office received that online banking-related complaints continue to be the biggest pain point for customers,” said Steyn.

The number for on-line banking related complaints closed by the office in 2018 is slightly less than the previous year. Most of the complaints received were from people aged 40 and over.

Steyn said it was feasible that older customers were more aware of their rights and therefore more likely to complain.

“A total of 70% of the complainants are from people over the age of 40. We believe the older generation may be more prone to falling victim to bank fraud and we are targeting our awareness campaigns to address this issue,” Steyn said.

Kalyani Pillay, the chief executive of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), said awareness campaigns and consumer education were important.

“Sabric believes that awareness messaging definitely has a positive impact on customer behaviour, which is why we are robust about how we go about our messaging and campaigns.”

Steyn said that of the 7 115 cases opened, 2 659 (37%) were related to maladministration. The demographic view showed that most of the complaints were from Gauteng at 42%, Western Cape 15%, and KwaZulu-­Natal 13%.

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