Draft Code of Banking Practice

About the Code of Banking Practice

In this Code, ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ means your bank and ‘you’ and ‘your’ means you, the customer.

We want a positive relationship with you. By working together, we can help you to have a good banking experience.

To achieve that goal, this Code of Banking Practice sets out the principles of good banking practice. We agree to observe good banking practices as a minimum standard in our relationship with you.

We’ve also set out what you can do if you’re not happy with anything we’ve done, including how to complain to us or the Banking Ombudsman.

The Banking Ombudsman assesses complaints by referring to these principles, the law, the contracts you’ve entered with us, and by consulting the industry.

The Code doesn’t form part of the terms and conditions of your relationship with us. How we interact with you depends on the accounts, products, and services you have. You should refer to the terms and conditions of the contracts you’ve entered into with us for the detail on our obligations to you and your obligations to us. This Code doesn’t override or replace those terms and conditions. It also doesn’t form part of any contracts with us.

If you’re a wholesale customer, this Code won’t apply to your banking relationship with us. ‘Wholesale customers’ has the same meaning as ‘wholesale clients’ in the Financial Advisers Act 2008, and includes large organisations.

We will cooperate with other industry participants, where necessary, to achieve the purposes of this Code.

This Code has been prepared by the member banks of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association in consultation with the public, other industry participants and the Banking Ombudsman.

For more information on various banking issues, the Banking Ombudsman Scheme provides a series of quick guides. The guides provide practical information for bank customers and are available on the Scheme’s website at bankomb.org.nz.

The Code is effective from [date].

You can find a copy of this Code on our website, or on the New Zealand Bankers’ Association’s website, nzba.org.nz, or ask for it at any branch.

What we will do for you

When you interact with us, we will:

  1. Treat you fairly and reasonably
  2. Communicate with you clearly and effectively
  3. Respect your privacy and confidentiality and keep our banking systems secure
  4. Act responsibly if we offer or provide you with credit
  5. Deal effectively with your concerns and complaints.

We explain these principles in more detail below. We also include some things you can do to help you have a good banking experience.

We will treat you fairly and reasonably

What we will do for you

We will act fairly, reasonably and in good faith, in a consistent and ethical way.

What may be fair and reasonable in any case will depend on the circumstances, including our conduct and yours, what our terms and conditions say, what the law says, and good banking practice.

We will ensure that our staff are aware of this Code, and that relevant staff learn about the Code and how to comply with all our responsibilities to you.

We will make reasonable efforts to assist and accommodate the needs of all our customers, including older and disabled customers1.

If you seek independent legal or other professional advice relating to the accounts, products and services we provide, we will cooperate with your advisers.

We will communicate with you clearly and effectively

What we will do for you

We will communicate with you clearly and effectively. That includes:

  1. Giving you information about the accounts, products and services that we provide you with, and how to access them.
  2. Responding to your questions and requests in a timely manner. We will make information about us and the accounts, products, and services we provide readily available in plain language.
  3. Complying with all legislation about how we disclose our fees and charges.

How you can help us

Please let us know if your name or contact details change.

We want to help, so please ask if you have any questions or don’t understand any information we give you.

We will respect your privacy and confidentiality and keep our banking systems secure

What we will do for you

We will respect your privacy and keep your information confidential.

We will keep your information and the ways you bank with us as secure as we can.

We will let you know how to report a problem relating to the security of your banking, including any of our electronic banking systems.

How you can help us

Please keep all information relating to your accounts, products and services in a safe place.

Please make sure the information that you provide us about yourself is correct.

We will act responsibly if we offer or provide you with credit

What we will do for you

We will act in a responsible manner if we offer or lend you money or credit.

We will comply with all relevant legislation when we offer or lend you money or credit.

We will only give you credit if we are satisfied that you are likely to make repayments without substantial hardship.

How you can help us

Please provide us with accurate and complete information to help us assess your credit application.

If you are worried that you may not be able to make your repayments, please contact us so that we can consider your situation. The sooner you contact us, the easier it may be for us to help you.

We will deal effectively with your concerns and complaints

We want you2 to have a good banking experience. If you’re not happy with anything we’ve done, please let us know. We’ll try to put it right, quickly and fairly.

We’ll make information about our free complaints process easily available, including on our website. If you do make a complaint:

  • we’ll let you know that we’ve received it within five working days
  • we’ll keep you up-to- date with progress, if it’s something we can’t resolve for you immediately, and
  • we’ll consider your complaint fairly and we’ll let you know the result within a reasonable time.

If you’re not happy with the result, we will let you know that you can contact the Banking Ombudsman who may be able to review your concerns and our decision. The Banking Ombudsman is independent.

Generally, the Banking Ombudsman can only review your concerns once we’ve had a chance to review and respond to a complaint or concern you’ve raised. The Banking Ombudsman can consider most types of complaints. See the Banking Ombudsman Scheme website, bankomb.org.nz for more information.

The Banking Ombudsman may also refer some complaints to other organisations, like the

Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman, the Privacy Commissioner, or the Human Rights Commissioner.

You can contact the Banking Ombudsman Scheme from their website. Or write to Freepost 218002, PO Box 25327, Featherston Street, Wellington 6146, email help@bankomb.org.nz, or call 0800 805 950.

1 The New Zealand Bankers’ Association provides its member banks with guidelines to help them meet the needs of older and disabled customers. The guidelines are available here.

This complaints process is also available to people who provide us with a guarantee or other security for your loan.