Ombudsman of Financial Services Reports an Increase in Complaints for the 2022-2023 Financial Year

By Sizwe Dlamini

The Ombudsman of Financial Services (OFS) has revealed that a total of 84 complaints were received in the 2022/23 financial year.

This number indicates an increase from the previous financial year (2021-2022), where only 56 complaints were filed with the Ombudsman’s Office.This information is contained in the OFS 2022-2023 Annual Report.

According to the report, the majority of complaints, totaling 36, originated from the Manzini region, followed by 33 complaints from the Hhohho region, 8 complaints were from the Lubombo region, and only 7 complaints came from the Shiselweni region.

The report indicated that the second quarter of the financial year 2022-23 saw the highest number of complaints being filed with the OFS, with 32 registered, whereas the first quarter only saw a total of 21 complaints being registered.

The third quarter experienced a decrease with 14 complaints, while the fourth quarter saw a slight upsurge of 17 complaints being registered with the Ombudsman.

Regarding the resolution of complaints, 40% were concluded by determination, 16% were assessed out of the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman, 11% were resolved through facilitation, and 8% were mediated.

 Additionally, 2% of the complaints were withdrawn, and 23% remained under consideration review by the end of the financial year.

In terms of complaint categories, savings and/or credit issues accounted for the highest number at 37 complaints, followed by insurance and retirement funds disputes, each with 18 complaints.

Securities and investments received only 9 complaints, while medical aid issues accounted for only 2 of the total received complaints.

Gender-wise, 38 complaints were filed by females, and 46 were filed by males during the year under review.

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