From today, individual bank complaint data will be added to the industry-wide dashboard, run by the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. The new data provides a snapshot of the number of complaints each bank receives, market share, the time complaints take to resolve, and the proportion resolved.
“Owning, fronting, and learning from complaints leads to better outcomes for customers," says Banking Ombudsman, Nicola Sladden. "Sharing complaint data is a big step toward greater transparency and accountability.”
The dashboard shows over 27,000 complaints were received by all banks from 1 October - 31 December 2020, an increase from the previous quarter. It provides a breakdown of the issues, products and services customers complain about, such as home loans, credit cards, internet banking or investments. “Banks can identify a wealth of insights into what’s going wrong, so they can make improvements.”
Ms Sladden says the purpose of the new individual bank table is not to compare raw numbers. “Direct comparisons might not give an accurate indication of service levels because banks vary in size, ability to capture complaints, and they offer different products to the public.”
“It is inevitable that things go wrong sometimes. What matters is how problems are put right. Banks deal with hundreds of thousands of customers and process millions of transactions every day. We strongly encourage banks to capture all complaints, so they have every opportunity to improve their products and services for customers,” says Ms Sladden. “High complaint numbers could signal a strong commitment to capturing and learning from complaints, no matter how small.”
“The real value is in the trends, issues, and insights, which will develop over time. Banks are working with us on improving the collection and the consistency of this individual bank data.”
The whistleblowing service provides bank employees with a safe and independent channel for reporting wrongdoing at work.
“There is a strong connection between the environment banks create for staff and the resulting outcomes for customers,” says Ms Sladden. “Bank staff can now raise their concerns about behaviour or practices at their bank through this independent service, which will be run as a separate arm of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. Bank staff can speak up anonymously, and their concerns will be managed and reported back to banks for investigation. The new service will supplement banks’ existing whistleblowing channels.”
Ms Sladden says banks have actively supported the dashboard and whistleblowing service, and both sector-wide projects have the backing of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA), the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the Reserve Bank (RBNZ).
“It’s exciting to be delivering on findings from the Bank Conduct and Culture Review and responding to the need to improve trust and confidence in banking.”
The updated complaints dashboard can be found here from 3 March, 3pm.