Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
Questions & Answers
 

 

Q. 1: Give us a brief background information as to when and who started this office?

This office was established in 2002 on the initiative of commercial and merchant banks namely; African Banking Corporation of Botswana Ltd; Bank Gaborone; Bank of Baroda Botswana Ltd; Barclays Bank of Botswana Ltd; CapitalBank; First National Bank of Botswana Ltd; Kingdom Bank of Botswana Ltd; Stanbic Bank of Botswana Ltd; Standard Chartered Bank of Botswana Ltd.


Q. 2: How impartial and independent is the Banking Adjudicator in the performance of his/her duties?

The Banking Adjudicator acts independently and objectively in resolving dispute and is not influenced by anybody in making decisions. He/She enjoys security of tenure and can only be dismissed on the grounds of incompetence, gross misconduct, or inability to effectively carry out his duties. He/ She may not be dismissed for being unpopular with the banks or any consumer grouping.
 
Q 3: What is the role of the Banking Adjudicator?

The Banking Adjudicator exists to provide individual member customers with a fair, quick and effective dispute resolution process, but only after the customer has made full use of the complaints procedure of the concerned bank.

Resolves disputes using the criterion of (i) the law; (ii) good banking practise (iii) bankers' Code Of Conduct (iv) banking practise in other jurisdictions; (v) fairness in all the circumstances.

Charges:
The services of the Banking Adjudicator are free to customers of Bankers's Association of Botswana.

 
Q. 4: What are the terms of reference of the Banking Adjudicator?

These Terms Of Reference have been adopted from the Bankers' Association Of Botswana Bankers' Code Of Conduct of 2002 (copies of which are available from their banks). The Terms Of Reference define the obligations, duties and powers of the adjudicator and the member banks.

The operational procedures define the manner in which these powers and duties are to be exercised and fulfilled.


Q. 5: What are the Banking Adjudicators powers and duties?

The Banking Adjudicator's principal powers and duties are to consider disputes within these Terms Of Reference and to facilitate the satisfaction, settlement or resolution of such disputes whether by agreement, by making recommendation or determinations or by such other means as seen expedient.

It is not the function of the Banking Adjudicator to provide general information about the banking industry, bank services or bank policy or procedures. Your bank probably has a customer care line to deal with these matters.

The Banking Adjudicator may not be subpoenaed to testify in court by either of the parties to a dispute considered by the Banking Adjudicator.

 
Q. 6: What is the jurisdiction of the office?

The Banking Adjudicator may consider a dispute brought by a customer of the Banker's Association Of Botswana.

A private individual

A small business (including a company, corporation an association, a partnership or a trust) with a turnover for the last financial year of P3 million or less.

 
Q. 7: What types of complaints can be brought before the Banking Adjudicator?

Your complaint must:

Be against a bank that is a member of the Bankers' Association Of Botswana.

Be against your own bank, regarding its products and services or fees.

Relate to a claim of less than P 500,000.00

Relate to mal-administration on the part of the bank that has caused you some loss, distress or inconvenience that is not of a trivial nature.

Relate to an incident that happened less than 2 years or 24 months ago.

Refer to misleading advertising.


What you can not complain to us about:

the exercise by a bank of its commercial judgements on lending policy or interest rates. You can not complain about a bank's failure to give you a loan, unless there was failure to follow the correct procedure and this prejudiced you.

matters that should more appropriately be dealt with by a court of law or other process.

matters where legal action has been started or where the customer wishes to be accompanied by an attorney.

generally something that happened more than six months ago( there may be other grounds for refusing your complaint).

We do not deal with general or systematic problems such as the length of queues.
 
Q. 8: State briefly how do I make a complaint?

Important:

You must follow your bank's internal complaints procedure, to allow it try to sort out the problem before you approach our office.

If you not satisfied with the outcome of the bank's attempt to solve your complaint, you may approach this office. You should ask for a complaint reference number which will be required to complete our Application for Assistance Form, (authority to at on your behalf) available from our office. We can post, fax or e-mail a copy to you.

 
Q. 9: What procedures do you follow in handling complaints?

On presentation of your complaints we will determine whether they are fall within our rules, after carefully considering all the information provided by you. Unfortunately it is not possible to make such a decision over the phone.

Your complaint will be referred back to your bank to give the bank a further opportunity to resolve the matter.

If the bank and you do not resolve the matter within the time period( not more than 15 working days) set down by this office, your complaint will be regarded as ' accepted ' by this office.

Accepted complaints are investigated by obtaining information from the bank and, where necessary, yourself. Our aim is to complete most investigations within 3 weeks.

To protect confidentiality , we may not send each party copies of everything that we receive from the other.

Unlike a Court, we will not call for evidence given under oath and no hearing will be held.

Where possible to arrive at a conclusion , we will make a recommendation ruling. If it is in your favour and you accept it, your claim against the bank will fall away after you have received an apology or payment that is due to you from your bank. If the decision is in favour of your bank, you retain the right to take your complaint to Court.

We will keep you informed of developments on an ongoing basis.

 
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