Use these draft letters as a guide when you need to put your banking complaint in writing.

It can be difficult knowing exactly what to write when you need to complain. Our draft letters set out how to write to your bank about disputed credit card purchases, ATM withdrawals or stolen cheques, and how to approach the Banking Ombudsman if you need help resolving a dispute.

Letter addressing credit card interest rates


Dear [BANK]

[Credit Card type]

I’m not happy with my credit card interest rate.

Your top credit card interest rate of about 20 percent is too high and has been this way for too long.

The Reserve Bank has dropped the Official Cash Rate (OCR) several times in the past year, most recently in March.

You drop your home loan rates in response to OCR changes. Why aren’t you dropping my credit card rate?

I’m calling on you to give your credit card customers a fair go and reduce the gap between your rates and the OCR.

Yours sincerely

Letter querying entries on a credit card statement


Dear ...

[account or card number]

I have just received a statement of this account. It contains charges for purchases I have not made. The transaction reference number is [give number], the trader's name is [give name], the amount and date are [give both].

I have not bought anything from this trader. Nor have I lost my card or given anyone else my number.

Enclosed is a cheque [or] I have made a telephone transfer [or] I have made an Internet payment [use the alternative that applies] for my outstanding bill, less the amount of the disputed transaction.

Please investigate this complaint as soon as possible and remove the disputed sum from my records so I don't incur interest charges while the matter is being sorted out.

Yours sincerely

Letter disputing an ATM withdrawal


Dear ...

[account number]

Enclosed is a copy of my most recent bank statement. It shows a withdrawal from a [name the bank] ATM at [name the place] on [give the date].

I did not make this withdrawal [give reference number], nor did I lend my card to anyone else.

On the date of the transaction I was elsewhere [give details of where]. I have not lost my card or revealed my card number to anyone so I am at a loss to know how this transaction took place. However, I am sure it is not the result of anything I have done.

Please investigate this matter and send me a revised statement as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Letter explaining a stolen cheque

Dear ...

[account name and number]

On [give date] I wrote a cheque [give the cheque number] for [give amount]. The cheque was made out to [give name] and was non-transferable.

The cheque was posted to [give name] on [give date] but was intercepted by a thief who, I understand from the police, forged the payee's signature on the back and paid it into his own account.

I believe that I took all necessary precautions to protect me and [give the payee's name] against the theft.

However, as the cheque was not credited to the payee's account I am entitled to be reimbursed. I look forward to [give the amount] being immediately credited to my account.

Yours sincerely

Point of Law

To make a cheque bankable only by the person you write it out for, you'll have to cross it and add the words "not transferable", "non-transferable", "account payee" or "a/c payee".

The only circumstance in which such a cheque could be bankable by someone else is if the cheque bounces and is passed to a debt collector or cheque guarantor agency.

Letter to the Banking Ombudsman

Banking Ombudsman
PO BOX 25327
Featherston St

Dear Ombudsman,

[Give the bank's name and your account number]

I am locked in a dispute with [give the name of the bank] over [give a brief description of the dispute].

I am enclosing all the relevant correspondence, from which you will see that I have been unable to reach a settlement with [name the bank], despite having been through its formal complaints investigation system.

I would be grateful if you would do what you can to resolve my complaint.

Yours sincerely