For a relatively small office, the Credit Ombud had to wade through more than 30 000 inquiries and 3 645 disputes in 2022, says a Moneyweb report.

The Ombud’s annual report for 2022 shows consumers are becoming better informed about their financial rights, and this explains in part why two-thirds of account disputes were settled in their favour last year.

A total of R3.4m was recovered for consumers.

Account disputes represented 42% of all disputes, with fraud and contractual disputes accounting for 10% and 9% respectively.

Some of the categories that probably should get more attention – such as debt prescription – do not rank highly among consumer concerns, probably because they do not know how this works.

Lee Soobrathi, head of case management & dispute resolution at the Credit Ombud, said the Ombud seldom, if ever, has to make a ruling.

Matters are routinely resolved when the disputants are gathered around a table to thrash it out and come to a settlement.

In this respect, says the report, the Ombud is doing what it set out to achieve.

Full Moneyweb report