Guidelines to help banks meet the needs of older and disabled customers launched

Minister for Disability Issues Hon Carmel Sepuloni today launched the New Zealand Bankers’ Association’s revised guidelines to help banks meet the needs of older and disabled customers.

“We’ve come a long way since these guidelines were first launched back in 2009. Back then they were voluntary for our banks. All of our retail members have now committed to follow the revised guidelines by January 1st, 2020,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont.

“This is a reflection of how banks have stepped up in recent years to help ensure they’re meeting the needs of all their customers. That’s essential because customers are at the very heart of banking in New Zealand.”

The revised guidelines use clearer language and flow from the banks’ promise in the Code of Banking Practice to do their best to meet the needs of all their customers.

In the revised guidelines banks commit to:

  • train staff to understand and help meet the needs of older and disabled customers, and
  • consider older and disabled customer needs when
    • publishing banking information
    • designing physical banking spaces, and
    • developing ATM and electronic banking services.

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni welcomes the mandatory guidelines and says they’re in line with this Government’s focus on increasing accessibility for all New Zealanders.  

“We know that one in ten people over 65 will be subject to some form of elder abuse – with over 50% of this being financial abuse. This is also a concern for the disability community. Ensuring that all banks have guidelines to mitigate potential abuse of the elderly and the disabled is essential to protecting them from harm,” Carmel Sepuloni says.

NZBA consulted its Older and Disabled People Focus Group in developing the revised guidelines.

“We think we’ve landed on a solid document that will deliver tangible results for our older and disabled customers,” says Beaumont.

The revised guidelines are available here: