better banking

Media releases

Why banks pay local body rates arrears, then charge customer

04 Nov 2014

Why banks can take money from customer bank accounts to pay their council rates arrears is explained in a new Banking Ombudsman Scheme quick guide.

Lock your credit card up to keep it safe

03 Nov 2014

Banks typically cover any loss if you take reasonable care of your card and PIN and report any loss to them promptly.  But if you haven’t, you are unlikely to recover the loss, as this person found out when he went to the pool for a swim and left his card in an unsecured cubby hole.

Why a bank may want more of your lending repaid than you think you should pay

28 Oct 2014

Loan agreements and mortgages can allow a bank to decide how money received from the sale of a property is allocated and it might not be what the customer expects if they have more than one property used as security for one or more loans.

Assistance available to help make a complaint

20 Oct 2014

Everybody has the right to complain but it is harder for some than others.  One of our latest cases involved a woman with English as a second language who, with the help of our investigators and Language Line, was able to sort out her problem with a claim to her bank about her life insurance policy. 

We also have help information on our website for the deaf, hearing-impaired, and deaf-blind.  Scheme information is also accessible on video in New Zealand Sign Language.

More bank complaints made online in 2013-14

16 Oct 2014

Customers with a problem about their bank are increasingly using electronic means to complain. 

Fine-tune your digital finances to keep you financially fit

14 Oct 2014

Digital banking can help your financial fitness if used with care. Take time this Money Week to check out Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell's top tips for getting financially fit in the digital banking age.  

Do the Money Week 2014 finance fitness test to see if your banking needs fine-tuning

13 Oct 2014

Take the opportunity this Money Week to do the Financial Fitness Check-up to see how fighting fit you are with your money.  Do the check-up and go in the draw to win a financial training session.

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme supports Money Week because the more people understand their finances, the better-prepared they can be for future challenges.

Hard to argue you're not liable for your credit card debt

06 Oct 2014

Find out what happened when one credit card customer said she wasn’t liable for debt on a credit card she had had for more than 20 years because the bank could not produce the original application form.


Customer in debt complains about bank increasing credit limit

29 Sep 2014

We receive a number of complaints about banks' lending decisions.  What might be surprising is that we receive complaints about banks both refusing to lend and allowing customers to borrow when the customers say they could never have afforded the repayments.

Here’s a case of a bank customer who knew she couldn’t meet her debt repayments and complained to us when her bank kept increasing her credit card limit.  

It's up to the bank customer to look out for a better deal

23 Sep 2014

Customers sometimes complain because they think banks have a duty to monitor their affairs and inform them when they can get a better deal. Many banks do, in fact, contact customers or take the opportunity when customers visit branches to review accounts. However, we cannot require banks to do this.

Opting out of KiwiSaver only an option for employees new to a job and not already in the scheme

18 Sep 2014

A common KiwiSaver complaint we get is that people cannot get out of the scheme once they sign up.  Opting out is only an option for employees new to a job who aren’t already in a scheme.  They are automatically signed up to KiwiSaver by their new employer and have a limited timeframe to opt out.

How to make a complaint about a bank explained in NZ Sign Language

15 Sep 2014

Information about the Banking Ombudsman Scheme is now available in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) via a web-based video.

Seek advice and complain in your own language

10 Sep 2014

Non-English speakers requiring an interpreter to help with a complaint with their bank can call the Banking Ombudsman Scheme for help on 0800 805 950. They just need to say "Language Line", the language they speak, and a contact number (if possible) in case the call is disconnected. Scheme staff can then have an interpreter on the phone within minutes.

Depositing cash? Check receipt before you leave the bank

01 Sep 2014

There’s been a flurry of news stories over the past few months about electronic and online scamming.  But here’s a recent case which shows people still have complaints about cold hard cash.

Be clear how much you’ll pocket if selling one of your properties

27 Aug 2014

Customers wanting to sell one of their properties to release capital should first be clear how much money their bank will let them pocket.

Relationship splits spell trouble for joint account holders

11 Aug 2014

Problems can arise when a relationship between joint account holders breaks down.  A bank has to freeze account funds if it receives word from either account holder that there is a dispute about the joint funds.

Bank records: can you always get what you want?

05 Aug 2014

Customers are entitled to access records of their dealings with their bank.  The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has just published a guide explaining what rights customers have to access information their bank holds on them, how long banks are required to keep different types of information, and in what form that information can be held.

Research and understand the risks before investing your cash

01 Jul 2014

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has published a guide on investing based on its insights from the global financial crisis and designed to help consumers avoid making similar mistakes.

Invitation to take part in Banking Ombudsman Scheme review

01 Jul 2014

An independent scheme review is required every five years, against the principles of accessibility, independence, fairness, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness.

If you wish to participate in the 2014 review, submissions are welcome from now until 31 July. 

Beware cunning new twist on bank card PIN scams

12 May 2014

Bank customers will continue to be ripped off by scammers as long as they keep revealing their card PINs, says Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.