better banking

Media releases

New guide explains privacy and confidentiality complaints about banks

31 Mar 2015

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has published a new Quick Guide explaining how the scheme approaches privacy and confidentiality complaints.  

Devil in the detail of credit card balance transfers

20 Mar 2015

Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell says her office has experienced an increase in complaints about credit card balance transfers due to competition between banks offering deals.

Consultation on proposed scheme rule changes

16 Mar 2015

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme wants your ideas about suggested amendments to its terms of reference (rules) following its independent review last year.  To find out more and to make a submission click here.

If in doubt when applying for life insurance, disclose everything

16 Mar 2015

Not disclosing what your insurer may regard as key information could allow the insurer to avoid the policy, as this person found out.

Does a name change mean a bank can no longer accept a person as an account’s authorised signatory?

11 Mar 2015

We recently had to determine whether a name change affected a bank’s ability to still accept a person as the authorised operator of an account. Read on to find out what we decided.

Find out what you are getting into before you agree to be a guarantor

03 Mar 2015

Agreeing to be a guarantor can mean you are liable for any future debt the person takes on, and the bank may not even have to tell you of any new lending - as this person belatedly found out. 

Another cautionary tale about protecting your card PINs

23 Feb 2015

If we think a bank makes a reasonable offer to settle a complaint, we are not able to consider it further, as in this case in which a bank offered some compensation after bank cards were stolen and poor PIN protection led to theft from bank accounts.

Provide all relevant info with KiwiSaver financial hardship application for best shot at accessing your money

16 Feb 2015

If you find yourself in a difficult financial situation you can apply to withdraw KiwiSaver savings on the grounds of hardship.  But as this recent case shows, you need to ensure you follow process and provide all the required information otherwise your application may be declined.

Changes to term deposits: what you need to know before investing

12 Feb 2015

Customers used to breaking term deposits early may soon find they have to give more than 30 days notice or demonstrate they are experiencing hardship if they want to access their money.

Romantics beware: deception in virtual world breaks hearts and wallets in real one

09 Feb 2015

Too many people looking for love are being tricked out of their money online by scoundrels taking advantage of their loneliness, says Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.

Scam-related bank complaints on the up – Banking Ombudsman

08 Jan 2015

Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell predicts complaints to her office about scams will increase this year and has put out a guide to help bank customers avoid getting caught up.

Make sure your Christmas money gift gets to the right person

18 Dec 2014

Be sure account numbers are correct if you gift money by transferring it directly into someone’s account this festive season otherwise the wrong person might think all their Christmases have come at once.

Make sure to disclose relevant information when applying for insurance through your bank

15 Dec 2014

It's important to disclose all relevant information when applying for insurance. As a general principle, applicants are required to tell an insurer anything which may impact the insurer’s decision to provide cover. Failure to do so can result in claims being declined or the cover being cancelled.

Banks need to protect their customers’ privacy

10 Dec 2014

If you have a complaint that relates to your privacy being breached by your bank, we can look into the situation and may consult with the Privacy Commissioner. 

Watch your limit this Christmas

10 Dec 2014

Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell is urging people spending up this Christmas to be sure they stick within their credit card limits and make sure they keep their cards safe.

Banks need to provide customers with information to enable them to make informed decisions

01 Dec 2014

Sometimes a complaint arises because a customer does not understand how a bank product works.  In these cases we consider whether bank information provided was sufficient for the customer to make informed decisions. 

Pay your rates – or your bank may have to pay them for you

24 Nov 2014

We receive complaints every year from property owners with a mortgage complaining their bank paid off their rates arrears to the local council and then took the amount from their account.  What many people don’t know is that legislation permits local authorities to demand a bank pay its customer’s rates debt. 

2014 Independent review

18 Nov 2014

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is required to commission an independent review every five years, and to provide a report to the Minister of Consumer Affairs in accordance with the Financial Service Providers Act 2008.

In May 2014, BOS commissioned CameronRalph Navigator to complete an assessment of BOS’s operations.  The purpose of the review was to identify if improvements can be made to the scheme to assist its aim of being a world-class Ombudsman service, universally valued and trusted for its independence and fairness.

Download a pdf version of the 2014 Independent review

Download a pdf version of the BOS Board response

Where to go with a KiwiSaver hardship withdrawal complaint?

17 Nov 2014

If you have a KiwiSaver complaint, it may not always be clear who you should direct the complaint to.  Your complaint might concern your KiwiSaver scheme provider or a decision made by the KiwiSaver scheme trustees.

Contactless technology handy but customers still worry about security

13 Nov 2014

Contactless technology allows for easy, fast payments without the need to swipe a card or enter a PIN. This technology is available on most new credit cards and many debit cards.  The cards are quick and easy to use, and they are also good for people who struggle to see PIN keypads. However, not everybody likes the technology as this story shows.