Hilary Joffe Columnist

The new Twin Peaks legislation will put a new "chief ombud" in place for SA’s financial services sector, making for a more harmonised and consistent approach to adjudicating customer complaints. This was the word from Kershia Singh of the Treasury’s tax and financial sector policy unit who briefed a range of ombud and complaints people at the launch of the annual report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services on Wednesday. The report showed that though complaints related to ATMs continued to top the list and internet banking cases accounted for 20% of the caseload, with cellphone phishing a major culprit, reflecting the fact that more customers now bank on their cellphones. The banking ombud’s office opened 5,219 cases during 2016, a 4% increase over the previous year, and cut the average time it took to close cases. The banking ombud is one of several in the sector that arbitrate and resolve disputes between financial institutions and their customers — including statutory entities su...

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