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New Banking Ombudsman Deputy Announced as Scheme Expands


New Banking Ombudsman Deputy Announced as Scheme Expands

The Office of the Banking Ombudsman has today announced the appointment of Nicola Sladden as Deputy Ombudsman.

Nicola Sladden was previously Chief Legal Advisor for the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner. She completed a Bachelor of Laws degree at Victoria University and holds a Masters degree in health law from Boston University.

Banking Ombudsman, Deborah Battell, said it was particularly pleasing to attract someone of Nicola Sladden’s calibre and experience to the Banking Ombudmsan Scheme.

“Nicola brings 12 years experience in dispute resolution to the Scheme, as well as strong legal and management skills. Her commitment to high quality investigation, to giving everyone a fair hearing and to ensuring all parties are able to learn from their experience fits well with our vision for the Scheme.”

Ms Battell said that Nicola will take up her new role on 31 January. She is joining the Office at a time when the Scheme is moving into a new operating environment under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 and has extended its membership to include non-bank deposit-takers.

As a result the Scheme is welcoming a number of new members that meet its quality criteria of being financially sound and having a strong customer ethic. They are:

Bank of Baroda
Nelson Building Society
Southern Cross Building Society
Hastings Building Society (now part of SBS Bank)
Canterbury Building Society
Marac Finance
PGG Wrightson Finance
Credit Union Baywide
Credit Union South

“We are looking forward to resolving disputes between a wider set of financial service providers and customers. Our aim is to reduce complaints and improve consumer confidence by passing on what we learn. Expanding the Scheme will enable us to help lift standards across a larger part of the financial services industry,” Ms Battell said.


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