Bank apologises for poor treatment and handling of complaint

Processing payments,
Roger visited a branch of his bank to add his wife, Kiri, as a signatory to one of his personal accounts. The bank said his wife had to be present but did not explain why. Later that day they both came to the branch.
January 2019

A staff member began the paperwork. Roger and Kiri asked her several questions about why Kiri had to be present. The staff member said they were being rude and pointed to a sign saying the bank would not tolerate rude and abusive behaviour.

Roger later made a complaint about the staff member’s behaviour. The bank said the staff member had acted correctly. The couple then approached a senior manager and said they wanted the staff member to apologise – a request that was accepted. However, the written apology they received was in the name of the regional manager, not the staff member.

Our investigation

We accepted Roger’s version of events about how the staff member had dealt with him. We also found the bank could have handled the original complaint better by listening to Roger’s story before reaching a conclusion, responding to his emails in a timely manner and keeping its promise about the apology. 


Roger accepted an apology from the head of the bank’s complaints department. The bank also offered $350 for the stress and inconvenience he had suffered – an offer he accepted.

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