Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Banks need to do better

Banks need to smarten up their act in dealing with mental health consumers and people with disabilities, Consumer Affairs Minister Phillida Bunkle said today.

Phillida Bunkle says she wants banks to remove barriers currently facing mental health patients and people with disabilities in accessing banking services.

"I have been made aware through the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' Bankline of a number of cases where mental health consumers leaving institutions and people with disabilities have been discriminated against," said Ms Bunkle.

"Mental health patients have been denied bank accounts because the bank won't accept community services cards or birth certificates as identification. The problem is that these are the only forms of identification a patient leaving an institution is likely to have. People with disabilities are unable to use many ATM machines, but banks refuse to waive the higher fees they are forced to incur for going to the counter."

"This type of discrimination annoys me. I'm calling on banks to provide me with some evidence that they will smarten up their act in these areas, and I will be meeting with them to discuss options for mental health consumers and people with disabilities."

The Ministry's Bankline – a free calling telephone facility - was set up earlier this month to offer consumers options for sorting out problems with their banks and managing bank fees. Other issues that have been coming through the Bankline include complaints about high monthly bank charges, the disclosure of fees, and the closure of banks in small towns.

Bankline will remain open on 0800 43 44 43 until 4 August to provide consumers with information about managing bank fees, resolving problems with banks, and where to go if they can't resolve a problem with their bank.
Information on these topics is also available on the Internet at

More than 1600 people have called the Bankline to date.

Contact: Juli Clausen (press secretary) 04 471 9761 or 025 89 66 29

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Decision Day: Peters Chooses Labour

Winston Peters says he will form a Government in coalition with Labour and the Greens giving confidence and supply.

Peters said he had been offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other ministerial posts would go to his colleagues

He said economic and monetary policy changes were needed to face a coming economic downturn.>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election