South African banks with most Ombudsman complaints revealed


Capitec had the highest number of complaints of all large South African banks in 2022, while Absa had the lowest number.

Nedbank and Capitec also had the biggest increases in the number of complaints in 2022, while Standard Bank showed the biggest improvement, with complaints dropping by 31%.

This was revealed in the Ombudsman for Banking Services South Africa’s (OBS’s) annual report for 2022, which was released yesterday.

When a bank’s internal complaint-handling procedures fail, the OBS resolves individual complaints about banking services and products. 

Reana Steyn from the OBS stressed in the report that “the number of files opened per bank is, however, not indicative of the individual bank’s complaints handling performance or performance in general”.

Nedbank’s complaints increased by 18%, from 1,273 in 2021 to 1,508 in 2022, and Capitec’s complaints increased by 11%, from 1,651 to 1,826.

On the other hand, Standard Bank saw a 31% decrease in complaints from 2,070 to 1,385, and FNB saw a 21% decrease from 1,452 to 1,147.

Absa had the lowest number of cases among the big banks and remained at 1,068 complaints.

Banks’ conversion rate of premature cases to formal complaints indicates how well banks handle complaints.

According to the report, African Bank saw 72% of referrals converted to formal complaints, followed by Nedbank (64%) and Tyme and Bidvest banks (both 53%). FNB converted only 34%.

However, the bank with the best average turnaround time, referring to the average number of days it took to close complaints, was Capitec at 58 days. Standard Bank had the worst average turnaround time at 73 days.

Capitec also had the highest percentage of cases being decided in its favour at 85%, while Nedbank had the lowest performance at 72%.

According to the report, banks are going to greater lengths to resolve some consumer disputes internally.

However, banking fraud related to current accounts and Internet banking remains high on the list of complaints the OBS receives.


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