better banking

Media releases

Loan led to financial hardship

28 Aug 2015

A woman who bought an investment property with an acquaintance later complained about hardship and that the bank should never have let her borrow the money. Read on for what we found.

More talking could avoid bank-customer woes, says Banking Ombudsman

28 Aug 2015

A lack of good communication can be blamed for most complaints about banks, says the new head of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.

Misunderstanding over joint loan left man out of pocket after mother’s death

14 Aug 2015

A man was left out of pocket after a misunderstanding over a joint loan taken out with his mother.  To make matters worse, the bank still expected him to pay loan-related insurance premiums after his mother’s death.

Unclear information from bank about freezing accounts leads to complaint

29 Jul 2015

Mixing business with family can create problems when differences arise.  A member of a family partnership complained that the bank provided poor advice about what to do in dispute situations when another family member froze the partnership’s account.

Widower said bank failure meant he couldn’t claim all his deceased wife’s money

07 Jul 2015

We had a complaint recently from a widow who said he was going to have to contest his deceased wife’s money through the courts because the bank hadn’t carried out instructions to give him joint on all her accounts.  Read on for our decision.

Builder complains about bank’s poor service and its impact on his reputation

29 Jun 2015

Misunderstandings about the intended use of a bank loan resulted in a complaint about poor customer service, poor bank process and defamation of character.  It also resulted in the customer receiving $5,000 in acknowledgement of this.

Customer misses debt repayment deadline due to unclear bank instructions

23 Jun 2015

Did fallout from a bank not making clear debt payment deadline instructions warrant $9,000 compensation for a customer being referred to a debt collector? Read on to find out what we thought.

New banking technologies increase risk of elder financial abuse

15 Jun 2015

The elderly are much more likely to be the targets of financial abuse than other groups and this is only getting worse with technological developments in banking and an aging population, according to Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.

Scheme consultation on its new rules

15 Jun 2015

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is seeking feedback on a draft version of its new terms of reference, or scheme rules. The revision is one of the recommendations of last year’s independent review of the scheme. 

New responsible lending code applies to banks too

11 Jun 2015

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has published a Quick Guide explaining how new responsible lending requirements and changes to hardship applications affect banking.


Switching credit card? Make sure you know the ins and outs first

10 Jun 2015

Thinking about switching credit card to advantage of a lower interest rate? 

Watch this Fair Go story featuring Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell to make sure you understand what you’re signing up for.  And read our Quick Guide on Credit card debt balance transfers for more tips.

Law change creates a new climate for borrowing

05 Jun 2015

Changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (Act), which kick in on 6 June 2015, introduce key lender responsibility principles designed to give better consumer protection. All lenders, including banks, must now comply with "responsibility principles" set by the Act.


Failure to disclose account information led to $28,000 pay-out

02 Jun 2015

A bank customer upset he wasn’t getting the high interest he had expected from a new savings account ended up on the receiving end when our investigation revealed his bank had not sent him a letter explaining all the ins and outs.

Bank mistakenly blocks personal account

18 May 2015

Banks have to protect shared funds when a relationship fails, but read what we found when a complainant’s personal account was blocked along with joint accounts they held with an ex.

Board’s decisions on recommended changes to scheme rules

12 May 2015

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is to amend some of its rules (terms of reference).

Request for access to client’s accounts denied

11 May 2015

An attorney acting for a client complained to us because the bank refused him access to the client’s accounts. Read on for what our investigation found.

Confidentiality breach affected successful business - Banking Ombudsman

04 May 2015

A bank recently had to pay the owners of a successful business $20,000 when their business’s confidentiality was breached by a bank employee accessing the company accounts.

Can you withdraw KiwiSaver savings as part of a relationship property settlement?

29 Apr 2015

Mr L wanted to use some of his KiwiSaver savings as part of his relationship property settlement but his bank said he couldn’t.  We took into consideration the fact he hadn’t suffered a direct loss as a result of the bank’s advice but what about inconvenience? Read on to see what we decided.  

Nicola Sladden appointed as Banking Ombudsman

28 Apr 2015

Current Deputy Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden has been appointed Banking Ombudsman by the Banking Ombudsman Scheme’s board of directors.

Complaint about switching bank

13 Apr 2015

Ms Q complained to us her eviction from her flat stemmed from not all of her automatic payments being transferred when she switched bank.  We investigated her complaint– which in the first instance was about the bank she moved her accounts to, and also, the bank she left.