South Africa

Code of Banking practice (COBP)

The Code of Banking Practice (the Code) is a voluntarily code which all banks who are members of the Banking Association of South Africa have subscribed to. The Code sets out minimum standards for service and conduct that you (the customer) can expect from your bank. The Code is only applicable to personal and small business customers (with an annual turnover of less than R5 million).

All member banks are subject to the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman for Banking Services (OBS), who makes binding determinations based on the COBP and on the law where appropriate. A determination made by the OBS may be made an order of the court. If the bank refuses to abide by a recommendation of the OBS, the Ombudsman may publish the recommendation and the relevant bank's refusal to comply. You can find out more about the Ombudsman on its website at

There are four key principles by which the bank will conduct itself when dealing with customers namely:

  • Fairness
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Reliability

The Code’s objectives are to:

  • promote good banking practices setting minimum standards for banks when dealing with customers;
  • increase transparency so that customers have a better understanding of what to reasonably expect of the products and services offered by the bank;
  • promote a fair and open relationship between the customer and the bank; and
  • foster confidence in the banking system.

You can click on the link to access the Code of Banking Practice  or by visiting the Banking Association of South Africa’s website at