This is the most complained-about bank in South Africa

The banking Ombudsman has released its annual report, revealing which South African bank drew the most customer complaints in 2015.

According to the ombud, there were a total of 5,021 cases opened in 2015, of which 4,899 were closed. The biggest portion of closed cases were solved at the bank (3,431), while 1,468 were closed after the ombudsman investigated.

ATMs continued to dominate the case load, accounting for 1,530 of the complaints logged in 2015.

Only 20% of cases were found in favour of the consumer, which indicates that, in spite of repeated warnings from banks and the Ombudsman, ATM users are still not taking sufficiently seriously the need for security and for protection of PINs and passwords.

As has been the case in previous years, the second largest category of complaint in 2015 was internet banking, with 752 files opened.

Again, most of these went the way of the banks, in fact 7% more than in 2014, as there was no evidence of bank maladministration in these cases.

Ranking third, mortgage finance drew 409 complaints (75% in favour of the banks), personal loans drew 361 complaints (60%) in favour of the banks and credit cards drew 310 complaints (57% in favour of the banks).

Overall, 73% of all complaints were ruled in favour of the banks.

Most complained about bank

As the biggest bank in South Africa by number of clients, it stands to reason that Standard Bank drew the most complaints during the year.

However, looking at the complaints as a portion of its banking clients, Standard Bank still takes the top spot.

At December 2015, Standard Bank had 11.6 million banking clients, translating to 13.2 complaints per 100,000 customers – the top amount across all the major banks.

While Standard Bank ranked top for complaints, it was the only “big five” bank to see customer complaints drop from 2014, showing a 6.1% drop in the number.

Nedbank saw the biggest climb in complaints (43.3%), followed by Absa (24.3%), FNB (18.2%) and Capitec (+8.1%)

These are the most complained about banks in South Africa:

# Bank 2015 Complaints 2014 Complaints Change (%)
1 Standard Bank 1 530 1 630 -6.1%
2 FNB 930 787 +18.2%
3 Nedbank 910 635 +43.3%
4 Absa 794 639 +24.3%
5 Capitec 692 640 +8.1%
6 African Bank 110 97 +13.4%
7 Ubank 21 21
8 Mercantile 6 3 +100.0%
9 Ithala 5 4 +25.0%
9 Bidvest 5 7 -28.7%
11 Bank of Athens 4 7 -48.9%
12 Sasfin 3 0
13 Bank of Taiwan 1 0
13 Finbod Mutual bank 1 0
15 Grindrod 0 1 -100.0%
15 CitiBank 0 1 -100.0%
15 VBZ 0 1 -100.0%

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This is the most complained-about bank in South Africa