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More protection for Internet Banking customers

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01AM MONDAY 30 JUNE 2008

30 June 2008

More protection for Internet Banking customers in revised Code of Banking Practice

Stronger provisions to protect consumers have been incorporated into the Code of Banking Practice, the New Zealand Bankers' Association said today.

The revised provisions follow consultation with Consumer and InternetNZ.

The Internet Banking Section was first introduced in the 2007 release of the Code of Banking Practice and the Association has reviewed its provisions following feedback about the wording of some clauses.

There are three main changes to the Code regarding Internet Banking:

• The current practice of banks reimbursing genuine victims of Internet Banking fraud is affirmed and is stated as a guiding principle.

• The reference in the 2007 Code to banks reserving the right to request access to verify protective systems has been removed.

• The previous requirement that customers accessing their accounts via the Internet, have up to date security systems on their computer has been amended to “reasonably up to date.”

These changes fully address the concerns that were raised after to the release of the 2007 Code, New Zealand Bankers' Association Chief Executive Alan Yates said today.

“We have listened and acted on the feedback we have received, and the consumer groups have told us that they are satisfied with the changes we have made,” Mr Yates said.

Member banks of the Association have each given their own commitment to reimburse customers who are genuine victims of Internet Banking fraud.

The new provisions apply from 1 July 2008 and written copies of the revised internet banking section will be available in bank branches and through banks internet sites and also from the website of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association – www.nzba.org.nz

ENDS

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