Refreshed Banking Code sets out customer promises simply

The New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA) has launched a new edition of the Code of Banking Practice aimed at giving all customers a good banking experience. It sets out clearly what you can expect from your bank, and comes into effect on 1 June 2018.

New Zealand Bankers’ Association deputy chief executive Antony Buick-Constable says, “Banks care about their customers. The revised Code sets out how they do this in a way that’s easy to understand. I’d encourage anyone who has a bank account to check out the revised Code.

“The Code says what you can do if you’re not happy with anything your bank has done. They’ll try to put it right, quickly and fairly.

“It also provides the Banking Ombudsman with more flexibility in determining what good banking practice is.

“And it’ll keep up to date with changes to the way we’re banking and new obligations for banks under consumer law and regulations.”

The latest edition of the Code contains five high level commitments that banks make to their customers.

“It’s important to us that our customers have as good a banking experience as possible.”

The refreshed Code takes a high level approach rather than the more prescriptive edition of 2012 that it replaces. It includes the good banking practice principles underlying the previous edition.

In the revised Code NZBA member banks promise to:

  • Treat their customers fairly and reasonably
  • Communicate with their customers clearly and effectively
  • Respect their customers’ privacy and confidentiality and keep their banking systems secure
  • Act responsibly if they offer or provide customers with credit
  • Deal effectively with customer concerns and complaints.

“What we’ve done with the latest Code is make it more accessible to customers. We’ve also avoided duplicating customer contracts.

“While the new Code looks quite different from the last edition, there is no change to existing consumer protections. In fact, it raises the bar for banks. In adopting the five customer promises in the Code, banks will have to think carefully about how their conduct meets those commitments.

“We’re pleased with the look and feel of the revised Code. It makes very clear what you can expect from your bank. I think it’s something we can be proud of,” says Buick-Constable.

The Code was developed by NZBA members in consultation with the public, other industry stakeholders, and the Banking Ombudsman.

The revised Code has the WriteMark plain language standard to help ensure it is clear and easy to read.

The Code is available in bank branches, on bank websites, and on the NZBA website here: r-information/code-banking-practice/code-of-banking-practice/.

NZBA first introduced the Code of Banking Practice in 1992. All NZBA member banks agree to observe the Code as a minimum industry standard.