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Scheme documents

A collection of key documents outlining the Banking Ombudsman Scheme's powers and duties. For more information please contact us on 0800 805 950 or via email at


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.

Download a pdf version of the full text.

Download the operational guidelines.

Download the terms of reference guide.


The Constitution

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

Download a pdf version of the full text.


The 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.

Download a pdf version of the full text.


Participation criteria

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

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


FMA Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandom of Understanding is a statement of the intent of FMA and BOS to consult, cooperate and exchange information to assist each other subject to the relevant legislation and the Scheme rules.

Download a pdf version of this document.