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Banking Complaints – Financial Ceiling Lifted

17 April 2002

The financial ceiling for complaints to the Banking Ombudsman has been increased for the first time since 1992. The Banking Ombudsman can now consider complaints up to $120,000 in value. For complaints dealing with bank-provided insurance the limit has been increased to $150,000.

Banking Ombudsman Liz Brown, said the New Zealand Bankers’ Association had adjusted the Terms of Reference by raising the financial ceiling from the original $100,000 limit set when the office was established.

“Insurance claims in particular involve increasingly large amounts and the move is in line with overseas trends. The Australian Banking Ombudsman, for instance, has a limit of $A150,000 on all claims”, Mrs Brown said.

Mrs Brown said the amount of compensation the Banking Ombudsman can require a bank to pay to a complainant for inconvenience, including matters such as stress and embarrassment, has also been increased – from $2,000 to $4,000.

Details of the new levels of compensation are included on the Banking Ombudsman’s website launched this week.

The website at www.bankombudsman.org.nz includes information about how the Banking Ombudsman can help bank customers; answers to frequently asked questions, such as how to make a complaint; and provides an online complaint form.

Ends

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