Handling a bank dispute
In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, all banks are bound by a Code of Practice under which they are required to publish and follow a complaints procedure. If you skip a step in the procedure, you risk spending more time resolving a dispute. Follow these tips to help you resolve bank disputes as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Try to resolve any personal-banking problem by discussing it as early as possible with the appropriate representative at your bank.
Most banks now operate an online customer feedback facility as a quick-and-easy way of clearing up minor disputes, and filling out details of your complaint online may be all you need to do.
If your complaint can’t be resolved by front-line staff at your home branch, you’ll need to engage with the bank’s internal disputes procedure, which is usually free of charge.
If you don’t get the result you’re after, you’ll be given the name and contact number of a service manager who will investigate the dispute on your behalf, and may require confirmation of your complaint in writing. The bank usually has 30 days in which to
investigate the complaint.
Keep copies of any letters you write, along with any evidence such as statements, correspondence, letters of demand and emails, etc.
If there is no resolution, the bank has another period of time in which to investigate the dispute and offer a solution. This may take up to another 30 days.
If a bank’s dispute-resolution procedures don’t solve the problem there are procedures for resolving disputes run by a banking Ombudsman, which is independent of financial institutions and guarantees that your privacy will be respected (see ‘Find out more’, above opposite).
Going through the Ombudsman is free, but can take several weeks, or even months, if the complaint is a complicated one.
The best advice is to nip any dispute in the bud as early as possible, before more time-consuming procedures become necessary.
From: 10,001 Time Saving Ideas
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