We all have an important role to play in protecting ourselves and our money from financial crime and banks stand by their promise to reimburse genuine victims of internet banking fraud.
Tom Pullar-Strecker recently asserted that banks are shuffling away from a commitment they
gave in the 2012 Code of Banking Practice to reimburse genuine victims of internet banking
fraud. That’s simply not true.
The code sets out good banking practices that banks agree to observe as a minimum
standard. It’s a starting point. Banks often go over and above those minimum standards
when dealing with particular customer issues. That’s reflected in bank customer satisfaction
ratings around 80 per cent; well above any other service industry. Those ratings are down to
robust competition among our banks and a strong commitment to customer service.
Our code has been developed over 20 years through reviews that are held every three years
involving public consultation. The next review is due to kick off in the middle of 2015, and as
part of that we will again be calling for public submissions to help ensure the code is up to
date and helpful.
Banks will stand by their customers in the case of fraud and that’s reflected in the code by
the guiding principle that banks “will continue the practice of reimbursing all customers that
are genuine victims of internet banking fraud.” That promise doesn’t override customer
responsibilities that are also included in the code. Your part of the bargain is agreeing to
never pass on your passwords and PINs to anyone – not even friends, family, your bank or
In using the convenience of internet banking, customers agree to some conditions to help
protect themselves. Those security conditions simply reflect what you can control and what
is entirely out of your bank’s control. If, for example, you lose money because you gave
someone else access to your online accounts, it would be unreasonable to expect your bank
to take responsibility for the loss. Banks set you up with PINs and passwords to protect your
money. This only works if you keep them confidential.
Financial crime takes many forms and scammers are always thinking of new ways to steal
your money. What the code makes clear is that if you have not contributed to a fraud which
results in you losing money, your bank will reimburse you. That’s a great assurance for
If you think your bank has not upheld its promises to you where you’ve lost money in a
scam, or indeed in any other banking matter, you can make a complaint to the Banking
Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s service is free and independent.
Customer security is a major priority for banks. New Zealand banks work hard to prevent
their customers from becoming victims of any kind of financial crime.
We all have an important role to play in protecting ourselves and our money from financial
crime and banks stand by their promise to reimburse genuine victims of internet banking