Code of Banking Practice
The Code of Banking Practice ("the Code") is a voluntary code that sets out the minimum standards for service and conduct you can expect from your bank with regard to the services and products it offers, and how we would like to relate to you. The Code only applies to personal and small business customers.
Terms of Reference of the OBS
The Ombudsman for Banking Services scheme (the OBS) exists to provide individual and small business bank customers with a fair, quick and effective dispute resolution process, free of charge. It provides an informal, easily accessible alternative to other remedies, such as court proceedings.
Code of Ethics
The OBS exists as part of the banking industry's efforts to regulate the industry. The OBS has been established to provide an independent, impartial dispute resolving service for bank customers and their banks.
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2016
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2015
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2014
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2013
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2012
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2011
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2010
Annual Report of the Ombudsman for Banking Services for 2009
Securitisation Complaints against banks
In the recent past we have received a number of complaints against banks relating to the securitisation of mortgage bonds.
At its most basic, securitisation is the financial practice of converting various contractual debts, such as mortgage bonds into a marketable security and then selling it onto investors.
The allegation then being that the investor is the new legal owner of the mortgage bond.
When a borrower falls into arrears with payment of the mortgage bond instalments and the bank sues the borrower for payment, the borrower raises the defence of securitisation.
This defence challenges a bank’s standing (locus standi) or title to foreclose on the loan. The defence is based on the allegation that the debt was securitised by the bank meaning that the bank is not the legal owner of the mortgage bond and therefore no longer has standing to enforce the claim.
The defence of securitisation was considered in a number of court cases and in each case the defence was found to be without merit.
Ombudsman's stat right on the money, audit confirms
When you draw a blank with your bank, you can be confident that your dispute is in the best possible hands.
An independent assessment by audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers of the statistical information that forms the backbone of
the work of the Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) reflects this. The auditors confirmed the integrity, consistency and accuracy of the formulae, algorithms and calculations used by the office and the reliability of the data on which statistical information on OBS cases is based.
Keep it simple, lucid, Ombudsman urges banks
In terms of the Consumer Protection Act, contracts must be drafted in simple, understandable and unambiguous language, yet South African banks seem to be falling short of the stipulation.
Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) Clive Pillay is urging banks to review the wording of their contracts with the need for lucidity in mind.
"We receive complaints from consumers who are not sure what they have signed and, consequently, find themselves in disputes with their banks," says Pillay. "Consumers sign a loan agreement, for example, when, as a result of woolly language and legalese, they think they are signing a vehicle financing agreement.
"Writing contracts and forms in plain English would help to reduce the number of complaints of this nature. This has become even more important recently, as it is also one of the requirements of the Treating Customers Fairly initiative of the Financial Services Board (FSB)."