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While the banking sector was regulated by the SA Reserve Bank, the market conduct regulation was poor — particularly compared with the often intrusive regulation of insurance, investments and financial advisers by the old Financial Services Board. More recently some credit-related conduct issues have come under the orbit of the National Credit Regulator. But otherwise the only avenue for consumer complaints was the ombudsman for banking services (OBS). It has been getting busier; its call centre fielded 26,970 calls in 2018, 58% more than in 2016. We can only hope that the threats to merge this and its sister offices in a mega state-controlled institution won’t happen. Wouldn’t it end up as the consumer complaints department of the new market conduct regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority? As part of the civil service, you can be sure the office’s turnaround times would spin out of control: 41 business days to close a case might seem slow, but look how long Tom Moyane’s S...

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