How To Make A Complaint Against A Financial Institution

Got beef with a bank or insurance company that can't be resolved? Don't sit around and sulk, get off your behind and make a complaint to these departments!

Unhappy with a bank or other financial institution?

Want to file a complaint against a financial institution but don't know how?

First of all, you should know that you absolutely have the right to lodge a complaint if you are not satisfied or cannot come to a mutual understanding with banks and insurance companies regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia ( BNM). For example:

Mr. Wang discovered in his latest current account statement that there was a cash out of RM5,000 via cheque numbered 23456. Upon checking his cheque book, he found a few cheques missing and one of them was this exact cheque. After an investigation by the police, it was found that his signature was forged and that the culprit produced a fake identity card with a fake MyKad number when cashing out at the bank, but the bank refuses to return Mr.Wang's money.

Shouldn't the bank officer have noticed this and called Mr. Wang to verify the transaction? - Here is a situation that can be disputed!

Let us take this opportunity to protect your right as a consumer, so you don't get the run-around.

What do I need to do before I can file a complaint?

Identify your problem first before you make a complaint to your institution. If you think the financial institution has been unfair or misleading, discriminated against you, or violated any company policy, you may file your complaint against them. Don't forget to keep a copy for yourself!

Attempt to settle your problem with the institution

The first step you must attempt is to resolve your problems directly with the institution - try to talk and discuss with the person-in-charge or department.

If you feel that your complaint has not been resolved fully or in a satisfactory manner, you can proceed to make a formal complaint to the Complaint Unit of your institution via email or fax. The Complaint unit is a department established by each institution to handle all complaints and feedback brought forward by customers.

They will take about two weeks to investigate further and review your complaint. If they anticipate that your complaint would take longer than two weeks to be resolved, a representative will update you on the progress accordingly. No matter how small the problem, your institution should be responsible to solve it.

Still not happy? Refer your complaint to the FMB

Not to worry! You can still defend your rights with the Financial Mediation Bureau (FMB). FMB is an independent organisation that mediates disputes between the public and financial institutions. 

Prepare the final decision letter from your institution and submit the letter to FMB within 6 months of the date it was issued to you.

Once you have submitted your documentation, the FMB will review your complaint and may meet with you or together with your institution and will make a decision on your case after looking at the law, industry rules and practices of the issues at hand.

Their services are completely free, but bear in mind that there is a limit to the amount that you can claim:

ClaimClaim Limit
Banking/Financial complaintRM100,000 (excluding fraud cases relating to payment services, credit cards, charge cards, ATM cards, and cheques for which the limit will not exceed RM25,000)
Insurance/Takaful complaintRM200,000 (Motor and Fire Insurance/Takaful)
RM100,000 (Others)
RM5,000 (3rd party property damage)

Alternatively, there's also BNM

Here's another option for you to file your complaint. If your complaint does not fall within in the scope of the FMB, you may refer your complaint directly to Bank Negara Malaysia through BNMLINK and BNMTELELINK. These departments represent BNM's important points of contact to facilitate prompt and efficient response to members of the public on matters related to the financial sector.

BNMTELELINK can be reached via mail, e-mail, fax or phone. In addition to this, you can also visit the BNMLINK if you wish to discuss your problems in person as they also provide face to face services to walk-in customers.

FMB and BNM weren't helpful. What do I do now?

If you are not satisfied with the decisions of FMB or BNM, you may seek legal advice on taking legal action to resolve your problem.

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Agree or disagree with this post? Questions? You also have your word!

  • NAGALINGAM A/L M.SINNATHAMBY

    thank you for guidance given.. would like to have further details on how to resolve matters when bank has not fully reimbursed the developer who have already wound up , yet I'm still servicing the the out standing amount from the bank to developer
    any info given is deeply appreciated..thank you in advance

    Reply
    • RinggitPlus

      HI Nagalingam,

      We're not quite clear what your issue is.. If you owe the bank or developer, it makes sense to pay them, but if the bank owes the developer or vice versa, that shouldn't affect your finances.
      We hope this helps!

      Reply
    • NAGALINGAM A/L M.SINNATHAMBY

      thank you for your reply..my issue we purchased a single storey landed property in 2004. the initial 10% was paid by us,for the balance 90% a loan was secured by then EON BANK ( now HLB )in October 2004. we took vacant possession in 2010/2011 ( late delivery ).
      We intend to refinance the house with Public bank (better rate).On 6th Sept. 2016 received news from Public Bank stating HLB cannot issue letter of release, as their account shows the bank (HLB) owes DEVELOPER RM 2,997.50/= from 2004 until Oct. 2016.
      When we contacted HLB and inquired why the payment was not made, their answer was simple... developer didn't request for it.
      We are paying UNnecessary interest for RM 2,779.50 which is still in HLB possession. As a layman my understanding is poor.

      Anybody out there, got any other solution or inputs regarding the above issue please do reply , any help given is deeply appreciated

      Reply
      • RinggitPlus

        Hi Nagalingam

        This situation looks quite complicated and is really way over our scope of expertise. We're just a finance blog after all.
        Perhaps if it makes sense to, you can seek legal counsel for this? Otherwise there's not much we can help you with on this part.

        Reply
      • Chandran

        Hi there, I am a loan borrower with Hong Leong Islamic Bank Berhad. On early October, when I decided to settle the outstanding amount, I approached the nearest branch for the immediate settlement amount.They told me only the HQ(HONG LEONG BANK HEAD OFFICE) is authorised to disclose such information and so I called the mortgage centre. Instead I was attended by a customer service officer (not from the mortgage unit).She listened to my issue and advised the estimated amount.
        I reconfirmed whether the amount is applicable for payment,she agreed and added that any differences arise shall be accounted for. I proceed and issued a cheque which after a couple of days was rejected by bank due to incorrect amount. I shared the conversation had with the customer service to them.The branch also unable to provide the actual figure.Then I was called by the customer service task manager and she assured that the issue could be resolved after discussion with the bank's management. That was on 28/10/16. To my great displeasure the matter was left "abandoned" by those responsible allies.Even after
        repeated follow up calls were made but no respond at all. Kindly advise the next course of action.Thank you.


        Reply
        • RinggitPlus

          Hi Chandran,

          Have you followed the advice in the article to escalate the matter to BNM?
          Try doing that, and if it still doesn't work out, you may have to seek legal counsel which is way outside of our scope of expertise.
          We hope this helps!

          Reply