A record number of complaints about bank conduct was received by the ombudsman for banking services (OBS) last year, with internet banking fraud cases the biggest contributor.
Internet fraud cases accounted for 19% of total complaints received.
“This is an alarming 6% increase from 2020 and a worrying statistic, as it goes against the progress made in 2020 where the number of internet fraud victims had dropped to a record low of 13% of total complaints,” said ombudsman Reana Steyn in the OBS’s annual report released on Tuesday.
In most of the complaints, the losses suffered as well as the inconvenience experienced could have been avoided had consumers been more sceptical of fraudsters posing as bank personnel.
As always, the OBS annual report reveals the number of cases opened against each bank for the year. In 2021, Standard Bank topped the list, followed by Capitec, FNB, Nedbank and Absa.
FNB saw a 34% decrease in cases, which Steyn attributes to the CEO and staff “looking past the black letter of the law in respect of the merits of a complaint and applying considerations of fairness and reasonableness” where possible.