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In South Africa, such situations also occur. Banking institutions try to satisfy their customers, but complaints are beyond their control. In the following article, we will look at the most complained-about banks in South Africa.

Have complaints about banks in South Africa increased?

The answer is yes. In the past 4 years, complaints and disputes related to banks in South Africa have increased. According to the Ombudsman for Banking Services, issues with banks are related to internet banking and current accounts.

These claim rates are quite high compared to previous years, despite banks’ efforts to improve service. The arrival of the pandemic brought about a change in our daily activities. Therefore, the long-awaited “normalcy” led to an increase in calls to the OBS for bank complaints in 2022.

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However, despite the increase in complaints, formal complaints decreased by 5% compared to 2021. In 2022, 7869 cases were recorded, while in 2021, there were 8257.

On the other hand, the number of cases closed due to complaints also decreased by 7%, from 8150 in 2021 to 7574 in 2022. However, even with a decrease in reported cases, the number of open cases remains significantly high.

Who reports the most bank complaints in South Africa?

While it is true that the general population often contacts the OBS to report bank complaints, the list of the most complained-about banks in South Africa is predominantly composed of men. In 2021, 54% of the complainants were men, while 46% of the complaints came from women.

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Regarding the complainants’ age, 72% were 25 to 65 years old. Only 24% of the individuals who contacted us to report complaints were over 66 years old. On the other hand, 4% of the reporters were under 25 years old.”

What are the major complaints about banks in South Africa?

Before discussing the most complained-about banks in South Africa, it is important to highlight the main reasons for complaints. Let’s look at the most common complaints:

Internet banking

The OBS report for 2022 highlights issues related to Internet banking and current accounts.

The most significant aspect of these statistics is that in both cases, the complaints were related to fraud. This continues to increase compared to previous years. Reports of problems with current accounts increased to 22%, and 65% of them were related to fraud.

On the other hand, complaints about Internet banking increased by 17%. Vishing and digital banking fraud are the recurring causes of complaints.

Vishing

Phishing or vishing is a scam in which the scammer contacts a customer pretending to be a company. This is to obtain personal information.

Personal loans

Complaints about personal loans also hold a significant place among South African users. In 2022, the number of complaints increased, accounting for 13% of the total number of cases opened.

Credit cards

7% of the total complaints were related to credit card issues. However, most banks resolve these cases internally.

ATMs

In the years before Covid-19, this was a common problem. However, after the pandemic, these cases reduced from 8% to 5%, but they have not disappeared.”

Banks with the highest complaint rate in South Africa

Now that we have a clear understanding of the major complaint cases, it is time to discuss the most complained-about banks in South Africa. Some of the notable ones include:

  • Nedbank: It holds a significant position among the most complained-about banks in South Africa with an 18% increase from 2021 to 2022. In 2021, there were 1273 complaints, and in 2022, there were 1508.
  • Capitec: This bank saw an 11% increase in complaints, rising from 1651 to 1826.
  • African Bank: It has the highest percentage of formal complaints with 72%.

It is imperative to note that each bank has a different structure and profile, which influences the number of complaints they receive.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that some banks have improved their response time in case management. For example, Capitec successfully closed 85% of their cases in favour of the customer.

Do case closures in South Africa favour the customer or the bank?

This is a common question regarding banking complaints. While we are discussing the most complained-about banks in South Africa, it should be noted that not all resolutions favour the customer.

In 2022, only 23% of the total closed cases were customer-friendly. Claims related to Estates and Trusts were closed in favour of the customer in 55% of cases.

During the year 2022, the Ombudsman managed to collect R30 million in favour of customers. There was an increase of R10 million compared to 2021. This is mainly related to complaints about delays in trust payments for deceased individuals due to Covid-19.

Does South Africa’s banking system work well?

While there is a list from the OBS of the most complained-about banks in South Africa, this does not necessarily mean that the banking system is functioning poorly. Considering the number of customers and the average daily transactions, the low number of complaints to the OBS indicates that things are likely functioning well.


We hope this information has been very useful to you.

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