better banking

Media releases

What happens to bank accounts after a death

25 Feb 2014

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has published a new Quick Guide explaining why people may not be able to get information they think they are entitled to about a deceased customer’s bank account from the bank.  

Do due diligence for matters of the heart as well as the wallet - Banking Ombudsman

13 Feb 2014

Too many people looking for love are being tricked out of their money by rakes and charlatans, says Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.

Banking Ombudsman: accessing unsecured public Wi-Fi risky

10 Feb 2014

People who store personal information, including bank account details and documents with signatures, on their email accounts put themselves at risk if they access emails using unsecured public Wi-Fi, says Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.

Banking Ombudsman now has phone interpreters for people with English as second language

18 Dec 2013

Anybody needing an interpreter to talk through an enquiry or complaint with the Banking Ombudsman Scheme can now call us on 0800 805 950 and within minutes an interpreter will be available on the telephone allowing them and our staff to communicate efficiently and confidentially.

Help - the ATM ate my lunch money!

02 Dec 2013

Most people use ATMs to withdraw or deposit cash without any problems at all, but the Banking Ombudsman Scheme has just published a new Quick Guide about ATMs which highlights some of things that can go wrong.

Watch bank balance to avoid exceeding account limits

01 Nov 2013

Quick Guide explaining how overdrafts work has been released today by the Banking Ombudsman Scheme to help people better understand why accounts go into overdraft or exceed account limits, and what to do to avoid associated fees and costs.

Use of Banking Ombudsman Scheme exceeds estimates

16 Oct 2013

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme has released its Annual Report 2012/13.  It received 16% more cases in 2012/13, blowing expectations scheme use would decrease as consequences of the global financial crisis eased. Nearly a third of 2012/13 dispute cases inside jurisdiction resulted in a favourable outcome for customers, either partially or in full.  Customer compensation increased to $598,000 in 2012/13 from $505,139 the previous year. 

Advice on new LVR restrictions and avoiding problems with loans

01 Oct 2013

“The Reserve Bank’s new loan to value ratio (LVR) restrictions which come into force today are expected to lead to a further spike in mortgage-related issues,  the highest single category of complaint for the Banking Ombudsman Scheme,” says Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.

Beware financial peril of guaranteeing somebody else’s debt

01 Sep 2013

The Banking Ombudsman is supporting Money Week 2013 by publishing a guide to ensure people considering guaranteeing somebody’s debt understand the potential risks to their own finances.

Business as usual

30 Jul 2013

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is back to business as usual after the 21 July earthquake.  Our office is now located at Level 19, 171 Featherston St, Wellington.  Our phone numbers remain the same - 0800 805 950 or 04 471 0006.  You can also contact us via email - help@bankomb.org.nz or the online complaints form on this website.

Central NZ earthquakes update

25 Jul 2013

We are currently operating remotely while our office building is being assessed. We are grateful for your patience and will advise when we are operating normally again. We are now able to answer calls to our freephone number (0800 805 950) and respond to emails and online queries so please rest assured we will be in touch. Thanks

New guide explaining how anti-money laundering law affects banking

01 Jul 2013

Changes to information banks are required to seek from customers are explained in a new Banking Ombudsman Scheme guide published today.

New independent chair for Banking Ombudsman Scheme announced

28 May 2013

Queen’s Counsel Miriam Dean has been appointed by the Banking Ombudsman Scheme’s Board of Directors as its new independent chair, effective from 1 June 2013.

Bank customers need to remember the basics

23 May 2013

“If you have a credit or debit card, you sign up to terms and conditions for their use and the rule for all is not to divulge PIN information. If you do and payments you don’t authorise are made to your card, you won’t have a leg to stand on,” says Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell.

Our new website

01 May 2013

The New Zealand Banking Ombudsman Scheme website has been re-designed. It's part of our on-going effort to improve user access to independent information and advice about banking.

Heavies ruin holiday – take care with credit cards

21 Dec 2012

Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell is urging Kiwis to take care with their credit cards over the holiday season, particularly if they are heading overseas.

Continuing high demand for Banking Ombudsman after 20 years in business

08 Nov 2012

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme's annual report for 2011/12 marks 20 years of dispute resolution in the financial services sector. Over the last 20 years, the scheme has helped over 62,000 customers, resolved around 20,000 cases and facilitated $36.9 million in compensation.

No automatic entitlement to break fee discounts

14 Jun 2012

Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell says her office has started receiving complaints from bank customers following recent reports that banks have been waiving or discounting break fees on fixed term mortgages.

Banking Ombudsman offers guidance to banking customers on mortgage issues

13 Mar 2012

Difficulties with mortgage finance remain the single largest cause of complaints to the Banking Ombudsman, and mortgagee sales disputes have been at record levels.

Record number of complaints and enquiries to Banking Ombudsman

01 Nov 2011

Complaints and enquiries to the Banking Ombudsman are at historically high levels, but the number of disputes requiring investigation is down.