The Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS) resolves individual complaints about banking services and products. We do this impartially, speedily and confidentially.
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 - Click here to read more.
- 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 determination that is binding on the bank or a recommendation 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
The scheme is a section 21 company (Reg No: 2000/002577/08).
The Board of Directors
The governing structure of the OBS consists of a Board of Directors, comprised four independent, non-bankers, three representatives of the banks and an independent chairperson. The function of the Board is to ensure that the OBS is financially sound, to take decisions on how the OBS is to be financed and to consider the annual budget. The Board ensures the independence of the OBS, through the appointment of the OBS or acting OBS, the dismissal of the OBS, the approval of changes to the Terms of Reference, considering the Annual Report and to making recommendations to the Banking Association South Africa on changes to the Code of Banking Practice.Directors on the Board of the OBS
Advocate John Myburgh SC
Consumer/civil society/business representatives
Ina Wilken (Profile)
Vice Chairperson: South African National Consumer Union
Dr Malesela Motlatla
Businessman, involved on various boards, including UNISA
Chairperson:Estate Agency Affairs Board
Partner of Cheadle Thompson and Haysom attorneys, dispute resolution expert
Banking industry representatives
Cas Coovadia (Profile)
Managing Director of the Banking Association, SA
Executive Director ABSA
Alfred Ramosedi (Profile)
Divisional Director for Nedbank Limited
Advocate Clive Pillay
Advocate Clive Pillay has been appointed as the Ombudsman for Banking Services from the 2nd May 2007. Pillay holds the degrees of B Proc, LL B, and LL M (Constitutional Interpretation) and LL M (International Law), from the University of South Africa and the University of Johannesburg.
Pillay was admitted to practice in 1976 and was the senior partner in the Law Firm Pillay, Meyer and Boqwana. During the period 1999 to 2001, Pillay served as a Judge of the High Court on numerous occasions. In 2004 he ceased practice and joined the National Prosecuting Authority as a Deputy Director (Asset Forfeiture Unit), and in 2006 was appointed the acting Regional head for Gauteng.Pillay has lectured at the University of Port Elizabeth and the School for Legal Practice.
He is a founder member / member of various Civil Society / Human Rights Organisations, inter alia,
Lawyers for Human Rights
National Association of Democratic Lawyers
The Port Elizabeth Black Civic Association
Chairman of Malabar Ratepayers Association
Chairman of the Anti-Tricameral Parliament Election Committee
Board of Control member of the University of Port Elizabeth
Exchange student to America on the Comparative Law Programme
Addressed a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Seminar in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, during September 2005