Evidence lacking for claim that bank mis-sold KiwiSaver

When Matthew was in his early 50s, he received a $500,000 redundancy pay-out. He invested $50,000 of it in an online savings account and $200,000 in a regular savings account. He also put $250,000 in KiwiSaver.
April 2019

The following year, his wife complained on his behalf to the bank that it had misled him into putting money into KiwiSaver when, in fact, he wanted to invest in a term deposit. Furthermore, she said, the bank failed to tell him he could not withdraw his KiwiSaver funds until he was 65. She added that her husband had a hearing problem and might not have taken in everything the bank told him.

Our investigation

We spoke to Matthew and found he had limited recollection of his discussion with the bank.  The bank explained that it had conducted a robust sales process. 

We visited a branch to view the bank’s KiwiSaver sales process.  A staff member took us through the KiwiSaver sales process. Completing the computer-based application form and explaining the KiwiSaver product disclosure statement and KiwiSaver guide took more than half an hour. At various points, the staff member was required to check in with the customer to ensure that they understood what they were being told. 

All in all, we found it difficult to envisage how a customer could have believed he or she was being sold a term deposit rather than a KiwiSaver product – provided the bank followed this process correctly and in full. Furthermore, only specially trained staff can sell KiwiSaver products to customers.


We considered there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude the bank had sold Matthew the wrong product. He and his wife, although unhappy with this outcome, decided not to take the matter further.

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