STANDARD Bank received two awards from the Ombudsman for Banking Services last week. African News Agency (ANA)
Standard Bank, Absa Bank, African Bank and Bidvest Bank were honoured by the Office of the Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) last week for the way in which they have co-operated with the ombudsman’s office in resolving customer complaints.

“In as much as the OBS functions as an independent non-profit organisation, and the banks recognise the authority of the ombudsman, the work that this office does cannot be fully accomplished without the co-operation of all the banks involved,” says Reana Steyn, the ombudsman.

In recognition, the OBS once again honoured banks and bank staff for excellent service and performance judged on the banks’ co-operation with the ombudsman’s office in resolving bank customer disputes.

“We set measurable standards for the banks which reflect our values to enable us to honour our promise to deliver free, impartial and speedy dispute resolutions,” says Steyn.

There are two categories, A and B, for the Best Dispute Resolution Banks.

For category, A the criteria are:

* The quality of the bank’s written response to the office in response to a specific complainant;

* The response time; and

* The overall fairness of the response.

In category A, which includes Absa, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Capitec, the 2019 winning bank was Standard Bank.

For category B, and based on the same criteria, the winner for the Best Dispute Resolution Bank was African Bank.

Individual effort was also recognised with an award for bank staff members who impressed with their consistent excellent service. In this category, the following criteria are applied:

* Treating complainants with equal dignity and respect and affording all complaints the necessary level of attention;

* Providing prompt and efficient service to complainant and the OBS;

* Initiating and/or improving measures and or service level agreements to enhance their bank’s level of service in complaints handling; and

* The individual must be knowledgeable about their bank’s products, service and processes, including internal complaints handling mechanisms, as well as those of the OBS.

The winners were Karen Jonker from Absa and Rachel Grunstein from Bidvest Bank.

The OBS introduced two new awards this year.

The Innovation Award was presented to the bank that excelled in innovation in dispute resolution resulting in a noticeable decrease in consumer disputes. The winner was Absa Bank.

The Engagement Award was awarded to the bank that took the initiative to engage the OBS in training, industry challenges and solutions in 2019. This award was presented to Standard Bank. 

PERSONAL FINANCE