Sladden credited the scheme’s early resolution service for the drop in disputes, saying 96 percent of complaints were resolved within a matter of days.

“The key is to nip problems in the bud early. When people have problems, they need to be heard and responded to as quickly as possible.

“Our new fast-track process for resolving complaints by customers in financial difficulty proves this point, and we’ve seen cases where banks have responded with exemplary promptness and support,” she said.

The most common complaints were about bank accounts and lending – home loans, credit cards, overdrafts, personal and business loans. This was followed by payment methods, such as internet banking and overseas transfers, bank cards and investments.

Sladden said the closure of branches and ending of cheques had also resulted in complaints.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the already rapid change to digital, contactless banking. Although banks have provided help for…

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