The Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) has revealed the top bank and banking employees that had delivered excellent service and performance in dealing with customer complaints.
The OBS Annual Banking Awards ceremony was held in Johannesburg on 24 November, and the OBS, Reana Steyn, recognised those banks and their staff that had delivered excellent service and performance judged on how they handled disputes during the OBS’s 2022/23 financial year.
Steyn also shared her appreciation for banks that have best co-operated with her office in resolving customers’ complaints.
The ceremony, an annual event for the past 17 years, was the last of its kind. This is because a new ombudsman scheme for the financial services industry comes into effect next year.
“On 1 March 2024, the four voluntary financial ombud schemes – the OBS, Long-term Insurance Ombudsman, Credit Ombud and Short-Term Insurance Ombudsman – will amalgamate into a single new entity,” the OBS said.
“In as much as the OBS has functioned as an independent non-profit organisation, and the banks recognise the authority of the ombudsman, the work that we do – and the work ombudsmen under the new system will do – cannot be fully accomplished without the co-operation of all the banks involved,” Steyn added.
“We have set measurable standards for the banks, which have reflected our values in promising to deliver a free, impartial and speedy resolution of banking complaints,” she said.
This year’s winning banks
There were two categories in the OBS Annual Banking Awards: A (big banks) and B (smaller banks).
For both categories, the criteria were:
● The quality of the bank’s written replies to the office in response to specific complaints;
● The response time; and
● The overall fairness of the response.
In category A, which comprises the “big” banks, the nominees were ABSA, FNB, and Standard Bank.
The 2023 award went to FNB.
In Category B, the nominees were Investec, Postbank and Access Bank.
The award went to Investec.
Bank staffer awards
An individual effort was also recognised with an award for bank staff members who impressed with their consistently excellent service.
The following criteria were applied:
- Treating all complainants with equal dignity and respect and affording all complaints the necessary level of attention;
- Providing prompt and efficient service to the 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
- Being knowledgeable about the bank’s products, services and processes, including internal complaints handling mechanisms as well as those of the OBS.
The winners were Karen Jonker from ABSA Bank and Elias Mier from Postbank.