Strategic plan

View our strategic plan for 2017-2020.

Annual reports

We publish an annual report which outlines the organisations performance for the year. The last five years are published electronically below. Anything older than this is available on request.

2017 - 2018

Download the summary annual report

Download the full annual report

2016 - 2017

Download the summary annual report

Download the full annual report

2015 - 2016

Download the full annual report

2014 - 2015

Download the full annual report

2013 - 2014

Download the full annual report

Terms of reference

The terms of reference define the principal powers and duties of the Banking Ombudsman, and also set out limits to those powers. In accordance with the Banking Ombudsman constitution, alterations to the terms of reference require approval by the Board of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme Ltd.

Operational guidelines

These guidelines explain how the scheme’s rules (or “terms of reference”) work in practice. Further help can be found in information sheets outlining scheme processes.


The constitution defines and codifies the objects of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, as well as rules for the governance of the scheme.

Participation agreement

Following on from the incorporation of Banking Ombudsman Scheme Ltd, the participation agreement sets out legal arrangements between the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and banks participating in the scheme.

Participation criteria

To be eligible to become a member of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, an organisation must:

  1. be under the supervision of the Reserve Bank
  2. be able to demonstrate effective complaints-handling procedures.

FMA memorandum of understanding

The memorandum of understanding is a statement of the intent of Financial Markets Authority and BOS to consult, cooperate and exchange information to assist each other subject to the relevant legislation and the Scheme rules.


From time-to-time we have had reviews undertaken on various aspects of our operations.

Systemic issues protocol

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has developed a systemic issues protocol to identify whether a participant is aware of a potential systemic issue, what they are doing to investigate the matters, what they intend to do address the impact of the issues for customers and what initiatives they intend to put in place to prevent any future recurrence. We may also request a report on the outcome of the participant’s own investigation to provide assurance that the matters have been satisfactorily addressed.