25 years of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme 

On 1 August the Banking Ombudsman Scheme celebrates 25 years of helping New Zealanders sort out problems with their banks.  Happy silver anniversary!

The Banking Ombudsman Scheme is a free and independent service that was set up in 1992 to hold the banking industry to task on consumer issues.

Over the years they have helped more than 78,000 people and arranged for compensation payments totalling almost 40 million dollars.

The Scheme also works to prevent disputes between banks and bank customers, for example by providing Quick Guides on a wide range of banking-related topics and case notes of past disputes they have resolved.

Chief Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden says that in the early days, a large proportion of the disputes that the Scheme worked on were about missing passbooks (remember those?) and cheques – but these days they are more like to be about online payment issues.

If you have a complaint or dispute with your bank and you haven’t been able to resolve it via the bank’s internal complaints process, it’s easy to get in touch with the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. While they can only handle complaints about financial service providers that are members of the Scheme, most of the major banks are members.

(If your bank is not a member of the Scheme, it just means that you need to contact the disputes resolution scheme - there are four - that your bank belongs to. You can read more about this on our Financial services complaints page, or just contact your local CAB for assistance.)