OBS statistics show that the office closed a total of 5 996 cases this year. Of these, 2 356 were related to allegations of maladministration by banks. This makes up a significant 39 percent of all complaints, says Steyn.
The types of complaints included allegations of accounts settled and disputes around fees and charges. In many of these cases, the OBS found that there had been maladministration by banks. The office made appropriate recommendations in line with the merits of each matter.
The ombudsman is often in the best position to identify and investigate maladministration by banks as and when it occurs, but it says customers can assist by being vigilant and querying their statements and balances timeously.
According to the ombudsman, bank customers must take the time to go through their account statements. It is not impossible that the balance, repayment or outstanding loan period could be incorrect.