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Banking Ombudsman Scheme retains high levels of awareness

Nicola Sladden, Banking Ombudsman:

Banking Ombudsman Scheme retains high levels of awareness

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has today released the results of a survey it conducts every two years to find out what New Zealanders know about their consumer rights and how to deal with consumer problems. The survey has confirmed that the Banking Ombudsman Scheme is the second most well-known disputes service, after the Disputes Tribunal of New Zealand.

“We are very pleased that awareness of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme has remained so high,” said Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden.

“It is critical that people know about us and find us easy to use. Of the financial dispute resolution schemes, our scheme was the most well-known by a significant margin.”

“We use range of strategies to ensure people are aware of our services and that they are easy to use. We revamped our website in April 2018. We are the first hit on google if you search ”banking complaint”. We overhauled the website navigation and content (particularly quick guides and case notes) so that all information is in plain English to reach the widest possible audience. We also added three more languages through which our website can be accessed, bringing the total to 10.”

“Our social media presence has undergone a huge boost, principally to reach younger people. Our social media following has risen 81 per cent since 2016-17.”

“A real push for us has been reaching consumers who may not have known about us. Last year, we took part in regional hui with budgeting services through Fincap. Financial mentors, Citizens Advice Bureaux and other community services help connect vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community to schemes such as ours, and to other important support services where needed.”

“We also increased our financial limit on 1 April 2019. The expansion from $200,000 to $350,000 will provide more people with access to justice through the scheme.”

“We want to ensure our dispute resolution service is available to as many bank customers as possible, ” said Ms Sladden.

The full New Zealand Consumer Survey 2018 report and supporting infographic can be found here.

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