The Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) resolves individual complaints about banking services and products. We do this in an impartial, independent, confidential and speedy manner.
Any bank customer who has a complaint against his or her bank may approach the OBS for assistance. The service is free and the only requirements that must be met are that:
The complaint must be within our jurisdiction
The customer must have followed the bank's complaint handling procedures before approaching the scheme for assistance.
We resolve complaints by investigating matters according to the rules of the scheme. If the matter has not been resolved by negotiation after investigation, a formal decision may be taken. The decision may be in the form of a recommendation that is binding on the bank or a determination that is not.
A complainant is free to sue in court or enter into any other dispute resolving process at any time while the complaint is being dealt with by the scheme, provided he or she informs us of this so that we can close the file. The scheme developed from the Office of the Banking Ombudsman that was established in 1997. Since 2000, the scheme has operated entirely independently of the banks. The OBS is an independent and impartial body that reports to the Board of the OBS, not to the banks. We cannot make rules for the banking industry or deal with policy issues, nor can we give general advice about banking or financial matters. Commercial decisions taken by banks regarding fees or the granting of credit are out of our jurisdiction unless maladministration has occurred. As such we cannot assist you in getting the bank to approve credit or alter your terms of repayment on a loan. The scheme has several lawyers and ex-bankers on its staff.
Legal structure of the scheme is an organisation for non-profit (NPC) registration no. 2000/002577/08.