The first step : Contact your bank
The second step : Give the bank a second chance
The third step : Full investigation
The fourth step : The Fourth Step: Settlement, Assessment, Recommendation Or Determination
The services of the Banking Ombudsman are free
to customers of the Bankers’ Association of Botswana.
When you contact the Banking Ombudsman Office to inform it that you have a complaint against your bank, you will be asked to confirm if you have already informed the bank of your complaint and whether it has given you a decision. If you have not lodged your complaint with your bank, we will ask you to do so before formally requesting for assistance. When you lodge a complaint with your bank, make sure the bank gives you a complaint reference number. You will need this number to complete our Complaint Form.
- How long should the bank take to investigate my complaint?
The bank should give you a final decision regarding your complaint within a reasonable time as to whether it is prepared to settle the matter with you. It is suggested you give the bank 15 working days to do this.
- What if I am unhappy with the bank’s final decision?
If you have followed the bank’s complaint handling process and are unhappy with the bank’s decision or it has not responded within a reasonable time, you may then formally lodge your complaint with our office.
- How do I lodge a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman Office?
You can only do this by completing our Complaint Form. We will send this form to you by fax or post, or you can download it from this site. Please be patient as this form takes a while to download. If you like, you can even complete an online complaint form right now and submit it to us.
Once we receive your application form, we read your complaint to see whether it falls within our jurisdiction
If it does not, we refer it to the appropriate organization or inform you that we cannot help you. If your complaint is something that we can deal with, it is then accepted. We give the bank at least 15 working days to try to resolve the problem with you. You should be prepared to talk to the bank if it contacts you during this time.
Do not assume that because you have lodged a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman that your bank must deal only with the OBA and not with you. If you can resolve the complaint with your bank at this stage it will save you time and may repair your relationship with your bank.
Some of your expectations of what the bank should do to resolve the complaint may be unrealistic. If the bank makes you an offer that is less than you want, bear in mind that we will not necessarily recommend that it make a better offer.
If the complaint is resolved to your satisfaction at this stage, your file is closed. If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, we will decide whether a full investigation should be conducted.
Once the bank informs us that it has not managed to resolve the matter with you to your reasonable satisfaction or the bank does not meet the deadline set by the OBA for resolving the matter, we may begin a full investigation of your complaint. We then request your bank to provide us with all documents that relate to your complaint.
We also ask the bank for its reasons for refusing to resolve the complaint to your reasonable satisfaction. We may require additional information from you, in which case we will contact you in writing. Should you not respond to our requests for information within a reasonable time, we will close the file.
Before we finalise a complaint we may send you and the bank a summary of the important issues involved in the matter and what our thinking on these issues is.
We will ask you to comment or submit any further argument or evidence you have that you believe should be considered. This will be your last chance to submit comment on the complaint to us. Once all the necessary information has been gathered, a decision can be made. The decision takes the form of a final recommendation. A negotiated settlement may be reached at any time before a final decision is made.
It is still possible at this stage for a negotiated settlement to be achieved. If this does not occur an assessment, a recommendation or a determination may be made. An assessment, recommendation and determination are all given in writing and state what the bank should do to resolve your complaint. If we do not believe that the bank can be held liable, we will say so.
As soon as a complaint has become a dispute, a short assessment may be made without further investigation of the merit of the matter suggesting to the parties how the matter may be settled.
If both parties accept the assessment, the matter is settled.
If either party disagrees, further representations may be made, and the dispute will be investigated further.