Public Enquiries Review – The Banking Supervision Department’s handling of public enquiries and complaints in 2017



 
The Banking Supervision Department uses a variety of tools and channels with the objective of ensuring fair, professional, and proper service to the banking system’s customers.  Chief among them is the Public Enquiries Unit.  Customers of the banks and credit card companies may approach the Banking Supervision Department to lodge complaints, provided their contact with the ombudsmen of the banking corporations was not resolved to their satisfaction.

 

In 2017, the Public Enquiries Unit in the Banking Supervision Department handled about 7,000 complaints and enquiries, and its involvement led to a remedy for the customer in roughly 34 percent of the complaints that it clarified with the banking corporations.  As part of the Banking Supervision Department’s handling of these enquiries, the banking corporations issued compensation to customers totaling about NIS 2.2 million.

 

Similar to the previous year, in 2017 about 12 percent of the complaints decided upon by the Banking Supervision Department were found to be justified. Many other disputes were resolved or brought to a close without the Department’s decision, out of a readiness to find solutions to the customer’s satisfaction.

 

The main issues dealt with in the complaints were means of payment—mainly checks and payment cards (22 percent), quality of banking services (21 percent), current accounts (19 percent), and bank credit (11 percent).

 

In 2017, the banking system continued to operate in accordance with the principles for handling public complaints instituted by the Banking Supervision Department in 2015.  According to these principles, the banks and credit card companies are required to clarify public complaints and respond to them within 45 days, through an ombudsman.  The ombudsman’s units in all the banking corporations handled about 32,500 enquiries and complaints from customers, about 22,000 of which were complaints. As part of this, the banking corporations issued compensation to customers totaling about NIS 6.4 million in respect of complaints that were found to be justified and in respect of complaints that were not found to be justified but where the banking corporation chose to compensate the customer out of the desire to bring the dispute to a close.

 

About 4 percent of customers who filed a complaint decided to appeal the banking corporation’s decision and contacted the Banking Supervision Department.  This low rate shows that in general, the public receives sufficient response from the banking corporations, and the appeals mechanism creates an effective incentive to resolve the dispute and complete the handling of the complaint in a fair manner within the banking corporation.

 

With the aim of ensuring that customers get good service, the Banking Supervision Department supervises the Public Enquiries Units in the banking corporations, and measures how they deal with customers.  This year, the Public Enquiries Unit is presenting a number of main indices for the quality of the service that the banking corporations provide to the public, chiefly:​​