The One Where Banking Ombudsman Changes Her Tune

Following on from Cover Me

Covering Fire

Throughout ANZ New Zealand has relied on the Banking Ombudsman as the linch-pin of its defence. It really needs a better linch-pin. The Banking Ombudsman (Nicola Sladden and the Chair of the Banking Ombudsman board (Miriam Dean have consistently avoided the issues at the core of this dispute.

Nicola Sladden

All off the record, of course, like anything is ever really off the record, but I understand that some of Nicola’s responses to media inquiries have not been consistent with her formal findings in this case. Once the weak link goes…

Miriam Dean

These are the questions that Miriam and Nicola do not want to answer and that should be put to them:

Question 1

ANZ New Zealand’s guarantee and loan documents include guarantees as forms of security. The Code of Banking Practice (until the May 2018 version) says that banks have to provide any party providing security of the details of any lending against that security. This includes 

  • the annual interest rate and whether it may be changed during the period of the credit facility;
  • all fees and charges (including government charges and taxes);
  • the period for which the credit facility is available;
  • the repayment terms, including any terms relating to early repayment costs.

If banks take the Code of Banking Practice seriously – and it’s the Banking Ombudsman’s job to make sure that they do – why didn’t ANZ tell me about all the extra lending to my ex-wife’s company?

Question 2

Why was the Banking Ombudsman not concerned when:

  • ANZ New Zealand said that it had no authority to disclose information to me – when it did have that authority and a previous determination by the Privacy Commissioner also said that it should disclose this information.
  • ANZ New Zealand said that the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 prevented disclosure to me. The truth is that this Act, by definition, only covers personal lending and does not even mention company lending.
  • ANZ New Zealand made up information that it attributed to the Code of Banking Practice to support its position that it did not have to disclose details of additional lending to guarantors.

Question 3

The Code says that ANZ New Zealand can only provide credit or increase credit limits when the information available to it leads it to believe the customer will be able to meet the terms of the credit facility (that means, repay the loan). The Banking Ombudsman has held banks accountable under this obligation in its case notes.

Why didn’t the Banking Ombudsman consider this obligation when ANZ loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars to a small company with a weekly  income of less than $200 (that’s what ANZ New Zealand CEO Dave earns in about 8 1/2 minutes)?

Question 4

The Code requires banks to act fairly and reasonably, in a consistent and ethical way.

Nicola and Miriam, could you please tell us how ANZ New Zealand’s conduct in this issue could ever be considered fair, reasonable or ethical? Yes, we might give ANZ New Zealand points for consistency but that’s not always a good thing. ISO 9001 just means you can do things badly all the time…

…and just as an aside, I think we can give ANZ New Zealand a great big ‘F for Fantastic‘ on each of those seven principles…

4 thoughts on “The One Where Banking Ombudsman Changes Her Tune

  1. Pingback: An open letter to New Zealand Members of Parliament: Banking conduct in New Zealand | The World According to Me…

  2. i had a case against my bank kiwibank and a senior manager got on a ph to me and told me to shut up a heres the deal and you have one min to decide and started counting it down that intimidation and standover tactics and i will not stand for it. make a complaint to the banking ombudsman leave me waiting for 8 months then try to tell me its my fault by manipulating an email, then do a deal behind my back with the bank , misrepresent the facts which is a criminal offence . then lie to me about what went down 14 days where i cant reach them and dont know whats going on and the investigator kate kenworthy is on leave for 9 days of them never replies to emails or ph calls lets the bank defame me and im kicked out of kiwibank for nothing other than putting in my complaint as they have said ive threatened staff and never tell me this im the one whos been threatened by a senior manager .make formal complaints where they lie again and again make a formal complaint to the chair of the board miriam dean and guess what, nicola sladden drafts the letter of reply to a complaint about her self how dirty and corrupt and miriam dean QC lets her do this . they are clearly only fair to certain people and as i dont make the grade i have been put into a corrupt fraudulent deal by nicola sladden herself the serious fraud squad need to be involved they are untrustworthy and completely out of touch with new zealanders no transparence on fairness they are a complete waste of time if ur looking for a dirty corrupt offical then u have come to the right place as nicola sladden si the most dishonest peson ive ever dealt with and the other 7 people and they all lied to me


    • HI Martyn

      I would like to same that I am shocked by this but sadly it seems to be pretty par for the course.

      Under the Privacy Act you can ask both Kiwibank and The Office of the Banking Ombudsman for a copy of all correspondence relating to your case and that includes any between them. It may make interesting reading. I would also suggest a meeting with your own MP to see what they can do to assist. It maybe nothing but I got excellent support from Fletcher Taboteau’s staff when I first sought political support.

      The Serious Fraud Office, and the Commerce Commission and the FMA are not interested in individual cases; not is Miriam Deane.

      The Banking Ombudsman is known for fixating on parts of correspondence and ignoring the wider context of that correspondence.

      Brett Hudson ( is the Opposition member for Commerce, Write to him and or hit him up on his Facebook.

      I’m not a lawyer but I have been fighting this for six years and have a fairly good handle on the various issues and players. You are welcome to send me some more information on your case and I can offer some comment on it.


      • ive taken it to there 5 year review and have taken them to the law society the only reason i know all this is because i got my case notes and conversations been to my mp no help


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