better banking


Concerns about lending decisions

Jun 2015

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.

Credit card debt balance transfers

Mar 2015

From time to time banks offer deals that encourage people to transfer the debt on their credit card from their existing bank to another one at a low interest rate. We often get complaints from people who do not understand how credit card balance transfers work or who do not understand the conditions banks may attach to their offers.  Balance transfers usually involve two banks – the bank you have the original debt with and the bank you are transferring the debt to.

Early repayment costs on fixed rate loans

Nov 2014

Why do lenders charge early repayment costs? Can my lender tell me how much the early repayment cost will be when I take out the loan? View this quick guide for answers to these questions and more.

Guaranteeing somebody else’s debt

Mar 2016

Sometimes a bank will only provide credit to a customer if someone else provides a guarantee.  If you agree to be a guarantor for a borrower, the bank can require you to pay the borrower’s debts if they default on their repayments. 

How credit law changes affect banking

Jun 2015

Lending-related complaints the Banking Ombudsman Scheme investigates are usually covered by consumer credit contracts legislation.  This legislation has recently been updated, with the main changes made to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003.  The Act now places specific legal obligations on lenders – those who provide credit – including banks.

Mortgagee sales

Mar 2012

What happens if I fall behind in my loan repayments? What should I do if my banking service provider issues a letter of demand? View this quick guide for answers to these questions and guidance with other common mortgagee sale issues.


Nov 2013

An ‘overdraft’ on an account gives a customer access to additional funds. An overdraft facility can be pre-arranged, but it might also be unarranged. We explain the difference and what you can do to avoid overdraft fees.

Residential loan-to-value lending restrictions

Dec 2016

Loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on bank home loan lending were introduced in October 2013 by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to slow housing-related credit growth and house price inflation, and to protect the financial system.

Selling property to release capital

Aug 2014

If you sell a property which is security for a loan, you can usually keep whatever money is left over after the loan is repaid.  However, the situation is more complicated if you have more than one property that is used as security for one or more loans.

In these circumstances customers sometimes complain the bank is not prepared to let them keep as much money from the sale of a property as they would like.