Standard Bank topped the list of banking complaints received by the Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) last year.
According to a report released by the OBS, 1 669 complaints were received about the bank in 2017 compared to 1 279 in 2016.
FNB received the second most complaints, with 1 422 in 2017 compared to 1 036 in 2016.
Nedbank received the third most complaints, with 1 393 in 2017 and 888 in 2016. Capitec Bank was in fourth place with 1 225 complaints in 2017 and 948 in 2016, while ABSA was fifth with 1 125 complaints in 2017 and 888 in 2016.
The OBS report does however point out that less than a third of the overall complaints - 27% of cases - were decided in favour of complainants.
It said this indicates that most matters capable of early resolution were resolved at the banks.
The OBS process requires that a matter first be referred directly to the relevant bank to try and resolve it. If it is not resolved, a formal complaint is opened in the ombudsman’s office.
The OBS added that while the number of cases decided in favour of complainants may appear low, it is in line with international experience at other ombud offices.
Fin24 reported earlier that most complaints (22%) received by the OBS in 2017 related to online banking. with mobile banking and phishing fraud making up 77% of these internet banking cases.
The second highest number of complaints (18%) related to ATMs. This is 10% lower than the previous year and good news, according to Banks Ombud Reana Steyn.
In 2017 the OBS opened 7 056 formal cases - a record 35% more than in 2016. Most complaints came from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Fin24 contacted the major banks for their perspective on complaints. Only FNB provided comment.
What FNB said
"As a percentage of the large volumes of cordial interactions we facilitate with our customers annually, the complaints that are escalated to the ombudsman represent a very small fraction, many of which are fraud-related disputes," said FNB.
"In instances where a customer is not satisfied with the outcome of our internal processes, we encourage them to approach the ombudsman.
"On average, less than 10% of the ombudsman rulings went against FNB between January 2017 and December 2017, which attests to the efficiency of our internal complaints resolution processes."
FNB added that it has empowered its individual and business customers with tools that not only detect but also prevent fraud across all its banking platforms.
"In addition, FNB proactively tracks fraudulent scams and uses its banking channels to alert and educate customers on ways to protect their transactions," the bank said.
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