Banking complaints increase by 12.1pc

The Reserve Bank of Fiji building in Suva. Picture: FT FILE

Over the quarter ending September 2022, more than 97 per cent of complaints made to large financial institutions (LFIs) were resolved within the expected time frame. This is according to an industry report published by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) this week.

According to the report, a total of 1114 complaints were received by LFIs in this quarter. This was a decrease of 31.4 per cent from the previous quarter and a 0.7 per cent decrease when compared with the same period in 2021. A total of 97.8 per cent of complaints were resolved within the reporting period and the remaining 2.2 per cent were carried forward to quarter 4.

Total complaints registered by banks and credit institutions decreased by 31.9 per cent over the quarter, however, on an annual basis, there was an increase by 12.1 per cent to 1040 complaints. Nearly half (49 per cent) of the complaints were issues related to electronic banking.

Total insurance-related complaints declined by 25.7 per cent when compared with the last quarter and by 67.9 per cent on an annual basis. According to the RBF, this quarter recorded a change in trend with customer service experiencing a decrease of 4.5 per cent when compared with the previous quarter and a decrease by 54.3 per cent on an annual basis.

The number of complaints to the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) decreased by 12.0 per cent over the quarter, and saw a decrease of 31.3 per cent on an annual basis. The majority of the complaints were related to delays in processing withdrawal applications within time frames with seven complaints, and incorrect information on requirements provided to members with five complaints.

An overwhelming majority of complaints were reported through banks, with insurance firms, credit institutions and the FNPF reporting only 52, 19, and 22 complaints, respectively. Only 0.8 per cent of the total complaints received by the industry needed to be escalated to the RBF for further action, most being successfully handled at the institution level.

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