The Code of Banking Practice applies to all retail products and services of a bank provided to individuals and certain small legal entities. All banks which are members of The Banking Association subscribe to the Code and are therefore bound by the obligations and undertakings.
Ombudsman for Banking Services
The Ombudsman for Banking Services scheme (the OBS) was established under the Financial Services Ombud Schemes Act, No. 37 of 2004. The Ombudsman for Banking Services provides individual and small business bank customers with a free, fair, quick and effective dispute resolution process. The Ombudsman for Banking Services resolves matters by investigating complaints lodged against banks, in accordance with OBS rules, and provided the Ombudsman for Banking Services has jurisdiction. Unresolved matters after investigation and negotiation may be subject to a formal decision by the OBS. The decision may be in the form of a determination that is binding on the bank or is a commendation that is not.
A complainant is free to seek alternative remedies such as instituting legal proceedings or other dispute resolution processes, at any time while the matter is under investigation, provided the complainant informs The Ombudsman’s Office so that they can close the file.
Your complaint must conform to the following to be considered by the OBS:
Relates to products or services provided by the bank;
Involves a claim of R2m or less;
Arose within the past 3 years;
The bank concerned is a member of The Banking Association.
Complaints that fall outside The Ombudsman for Banking Services include:
Commercial decisions taken by banks regarding lending or credit, interest rates or bank charges, unless maladministration has occurred; As such The Ombudsman’s Office cannot assist you in getting the bank to approve credit or alter your terms of repayment on a loan.
Matters that would be dealt with more appropriately by a court of law or another dispute resolution process;
Matters that are or have been the subject of litigation, subject to certain exceptions.
The Ombudsman’s role in the financial industry is to investigate complaints by members of the public, to mediate between the parties to the dispute, and, where the mediation is not successful, to make recommendations for the settlement of the complaints.
The Ombudsman for Banking Services is Advocate Clive Pillay.