Dispute resolution schemes in the financial services sector are required to commission an independent review every five years and provide a report to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in accordance with the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has recently engaged Deborah Hart of Deborah Hart Consulting to undertake an independent review of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. Deborah undertook the last independent review of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and is therefore ideally placed to examine our progress against her previous recommendations.

Deborah will review the scheme against its strategic plan 2023-2026 and the principles listed in section 52(2) of the Act, namely of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.

Independent Reviewer, Deborah Hart

A solicitor by training, Deborah Hart is the former executive director of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand. She chaired Aotearoa New Zealand’s independent electoral review and undertook the last independent review of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. She is a member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

In 2021 Deborah Hart was appointed the inaugural chair of the Consumer Advocacy Council which advocates for residential and small business electricity consumers. She is also the independent chair of the Retirement Villages’ Residents’ Council and the chair of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand.

Deborah has prepared an issues paper that sets out what the review will focus on and invites submissions in section 6 of the paper.