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What happens when your complaint is investigated?

How we investigate

When your complaint comes to us to investigate, we have to make sure we have the right information and understand the issues so you get a fair hearing. This information sheet explains how the process works.

Our services are designed to be easy to use. You should not need a lawyer or accountant or any other professional to help you with your complaint once we have started investigating. If you choose to engage professional help, you will probably have to pay for it yourself.

Our Customer Service Charter sets out both our responsibilities and yours when using our service.


Assigning an investigator

We will assign an investigator to your case who will be your main point of contact with our office. You can call them to discuss your complaint, ask questions about our process, or request any other information you need.


Applying our Terms of Reference

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme’s s powers to investigate your complaint are set out in our Terms of Reference.  You can ask your investigator for a copy if you are unable to download one yourself.

Sometimes it may not be clear whether the Terms of Reference allow us to investigate your complaint.  We may ask you or your bank for more information and then determine whether we can investigate further.  If we then consider we cannot, we will explain why. 


Gathering information

The relationship between you and your bank is confidential. We will ask you to sign a Waiver of Confidentiality so your bank can give us its information. Throughout our investigation we may ask you and your bank to give us information, either by phone, email or in writing. It is important we have all the information we need to be fair to both you and your bank.

Any information we have from you or your bank will be available to the other party on request, unless the information supplier has asked for it to be kept confidential. We will not share personal information with parties other than your bank without your consent.

We ask both you and your bank to reply to our letters and emails requesting information within two weeks. This helps us resolve your complaint as quickly as possible. Please be aware that we record calls for quality assurance and training purposes.

We will respond to your letters and emails within two weeks. If we are preparing a report on your complaint this may take further time, however we will update you at least once a month.


Facilitating an agreed resolution

If we believe it is possible for you and your bank to reach an agreed solution, we will try and facilitate a resolution of your complaint. This involves talking with you and your bank to understand the issues and see if your complaint can be resolved by agreement.

You can ask your investigator for a copy of our guidelines on facilitation and conciliation  or look at them online.



If you and your bank cannot come to an agreement at an early stage, a review of your complaint will occur and we will make a decision.


Contact details

Write to:   The  Banking Ombudsman Scheme
  PO Box 25-327
  Featherston Street, Wellington 6146
Freephone:   0800 805 950
Telephone:  04 915 0400