Customer should have unearthed problems with sale at the time

Retaining personal information,
Bonnie began reviewing documents about her financial affairs after separating from her husband in 2021. During her review, she became concerned her former husband might have embezzled funds from the sale of a jointly owned property they sold in 2005.
September 2022

She told the bank the loan accounts had been closed and remaining proceeds moved without her consent. She asked the bank for information about the loan accounts. It searched its archives but could find only limited information because so much time had elapsed since the sale. It encouraged Bonnie to contact the lawyer who had acted for the couple during the sale. Bonnie was not satisfied with the bank's response and asked us to investigate. 

Our investigation

We reviewed the bank's response and could find nothing to suggest it had breached any duty or obligation to her as a result of its inability to locate information about events 16 years ago. It had passed on what information it could find, which, although limited, was not unusual for transactions that had happened so long ago. The suggestion to approach the lawyer who had taken instructions from the couple at the time – including where to direct remaining proceeds – was a reasonable one.

Our rules prevent us from considering a complaint if the complainant became aware of, or should reasonably have become aware of, the bank’s action or inaction more than six years ago. We considered Bonnie should have reasonably become aware of any problems at the time of the sale or shortly afterwards – not 16 years later. This meant we could not consider her complaint about the bank’s actions at the time of the sale.


We did not uphold Bonnie’s complaint.

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