1. Introduction

1.1 This Code
1.2 Governing Principles and Objectives of the Code
1.3 Dealing with Complaints and Dispute Resolution Schemes

 1.1 This Code

  1. This Code has been prepared by the member banks of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association and is effective from 1 July 2012. It replaces the Code of Banking Practice which took effect from 1 July 2007. Compliance by participating banks with the Code is considered by approved Dispute Resolution Schemes through complaint investigations undertaken from time to time. Formal review of this Code by participating banks will be commenced within three years of the effective date. Consultation with the public (including interested organisations) will take place during the review process. Changes to banking practice, technology and legislation may also justify an interim review and amendment of the Code.
  2. In this Code “we”, “our” or “us” means your bank, “you” or “your” means you the Customer.
  3. This Code records good banking practices. We agree to observe these practices as a minimum standard. This Code is not a complete record of our relationship with you, as specific products and services may have their own terms and conditions. These terms and conditions may include additional rights and obligations for both you and us. This Code does not alter or replace those terms in any way.
  4. We will ensure that our staff are aware of the Code and the minimum standards of good banking practice that are relevant to their area of work.
  5. Other Codes, Acts of Parliament, or internationally accepted banking standards or practices may apply to products and services sold by us directly or on behalf of another party. We shall comply with all our legal obligations including those statutes listed under clause 11.2.
  6. This Code applies to our relationship with all our Customers other than our Wholesale Customers.
  7. In the appendix to the Code you will find:
    1. a glossary defining a number of terms used in this Code; and
    2. a list of the principal legislation and that may affect services provided by banks in New Zealand.
  8. Copies of this Code are available at all Branches, on bank websites, and on request from us. They are also available from the New Zealand Bankers’ Association. The contact details for the New Zealand Bankers’ Association are as follows:
    New Zealand Bankers’ Association

    Level 15, 80 The Terrace
    PO Box 3043, Wellington 6140
    Telephone: (04) 802 3358
    Website: www.nzba.org.nz

 1.2 Governing Principles and Objectives of the Code

  1. The purpose of the Code is to:
    1. record and communicate to you the minimum standards of good banking practice that we will observe; and
    2. maintain good bank/Customer relationships and communication.
  2. In order to achieve these objectives we will:
    1. comply with the provisions of this Code;
    2. provide you with timely information, using plain language where we can, to help you understand how your accounts and products or services operate, so that you can decide whether they are appropriate to your needs;
    3. use our best endeavours to make sure that our banking systems and technology are secure; and
    4. act fairly and reasonably towards you, 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.
  3. We will recognise the needs of elderly and disabled Customers to have access to banking services and we will use our reasonable endeavours to enhance access to those services for these Customers. In interpreting reasonable endeavours for the purposes of this clause we will be guided by the definition of Reasonable Accommodation as contained in the glossary.
  4. Please ask us for clarification if you do not understand any of the information that we provide.
  5. You may want to seek independent legal or other professional advice relating to the products and services we provide. We will co-operate with your advisers and, on request, supply the information they will need to advise you properly.

 1.3 Dealing with Complaints and Dispute Resolution Schemes

Dealing with Complaints

  1. If you want to make a complaint, you should first inform us of the complaint. We will offer free complaints review procedures for handling complaints about any of our products and services. The Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 also requires financial service providers to belong to an approved Dispute Resolution Scheme such as the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.
  2. If you have made a complaint about our products or services:
    1. we will acknowledge to you we have received your complaint within five business days of our receipt of your complaint;
    2. we will undertake a review under our own internal complaints procedures;
    3. if you are dissatisfied with our decision, we will inform you (usually in our final response to you) that you may refer your complaint to our approved Dispute Resolution Scheme for further consideration, and we will also provide you with the contact details for that Dispute Resolution Scheme;  and
    4. the Dispute Resolution Scheme may then independently review your complaint and make a recommendation.
  3. Our internal complaints procedures will:
    1. be documented;
    2. be accessible to you; and
    3. provide for the timely resolution of complaints in a fair and reasonable manner.
  4. Brochures relating to our complaints procedures and the Dispute Resolution Scheme of which we are a member will be on display in all of our Branches. Our complaints procedures will also be available on our websites and on request from us.

    Dispute Resolution Schemes

  5. Banks subscribing to this Code also belong to a Dispute Resolution Scheme. The primary purpose of the Dispute Resolution Scheme is to review and recommend ways to resolve your disputes that remain unresolved after consideration under your bank’s internal complaints procedures. Details of the Dispute Resolution Scheme of which your bank is a member are available from your bank. If your bank is a member of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, details of that free scheme are available from us or from the Banking Ombudsman. The Banking Ombudsman may, where appropriate, refer complainants to other organisations such as the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman, the Privacy Commissioner or the Human Rights Commissioner. Contact details for the Banking Ombudsman are as follows:
    Office of the Banking Ombudsman

    Level 5, Huddart Parker Building, 1 Post Office Square
    Po Box 25-327, Featherston Street
    Wellington 6146

    Freephone: 0800 805 950
    Email: help@bankomb.org.nz
    Website: www.bankomb.org.nz