The Banking Ombudsman
The Banking Ombudsman deals with complaints about banking services provided by banks that are members of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme. All major trading banks belong to the scheme. The services of the Banking Ombudsman are free of charge. Complaints can be made in writing or by phone (0800 805 950).
If you have a complaint, you should first try to sort it out with your bank using its internal complaints procedures. However, you can ask the Banking Ombudsman for advice from the moment you first have a problem with your bank.
Complaints the Ombudsman can deal with
You can take a complaint to the Banking Ombudsman if:
- You have not heard from the bank 3 months after completing the bank's complaint form; or
- Its response has not been satisfactory; or
- Deadlock has been reached. You must make your complaint to the Banking Ombudsman within 2 months of the your bank notifying you that deadlock has been reached.
The Banking Ombudsman has the power to make an award against a bank of up to $200,000, and to compensate for inconvenience up to $9000.
The Banking Ombudsman's decision is binding on the bank, but you are free to accept or reject the decision.
Complaints the Ombudsman cannot deal with
The Banking Ombudsman cannot handle complaints which are:
- About a bank's interest rate policies.
- About the amount of a bank's standard fees and charges.
- About a bank's commercial judgement.
- For claims more than $200,000.