bank hapoalim 88.
(photo credit: )
The supervisor of banks forced the return of over NIS 24 million to customers as 27 percent of complaints against banks in 2005 were found to be fully or partly justified, the Bank of Israel said in its annual report on Tuesday.
Of this, First International Bank had to pay NIS 13.3m. for commissions related to the Libor interest rate and Bank Leumi had to pay NIS 4.6m. for commissions related to Leumiphone.
Over the past four years, the banks were forced to return a total of NIS 127m. to customers for unjustified charges and other complaints.
According to the report, Bank Hapoalim had the highest proportion of justified complaints with 30.3% up from 28.7% in 2004. Bank Leumi had the lowest proportion of justified complaints with 16.1% down from 19.5% a year earlier.
The Complaints on Banking Services and Information on Banks section of the Bank of Israel banking supervision department handled 5,501 queries in 2005 compared with 5,467 queries in 2004 and 4,644 in 2003. Of the 5,501 queries in 2005, 4,000 were complaints, as well as other queries for information and other requests. The rise in 2005 continued the trend of the last few years, which mainly stems from an increase in the public's awareness of its rights.
As a result of the banking supervision department's handling of specific complaints in 11 areas, the banks compensated customers for a total NIS 2m. in 2005.
The main areas of complaints in the banking sector affecting the public in 2005 were led by mortgages accounting for 21%, bank account management accounting for 16%, checks accounting for 10%, and bank charges accounting for 10%.
Leumi Card had the lowest proportion of justified complaints among the credit card companies with 6.9%, followed by Cal Israel credit card with 14.3% and Isracard with 17.6%.