Hon Kris Faafoi
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Hon Grant Robertson
Minister of Finance
5 November 2018
Banks must lift their game to ensure the rights of customers are protected, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris
A review of bank conduct, released today by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand
(RBNZ), identifies instances of poor conduct by bank staff and weaknesses in bank processes to manage them.
“We are not happy to hear that there are problems, but by identifying them we now have an opportunity to fix them. New
Zealand customers should get fair treatment and their needs must be put first,” said Kris Faafoi.
“It’s important banks do much better at identifying problems and risks in their business and fixing them before they
become a much bigger problem.”
Minister of Finance Hon Grant Robertson said that dealing with the problems identified in the report was critical to
ensure New Zealanders have confidence in their banking system.
“Any weaknesses in how banks manage the way they behave is a concern.
“This report highlights why we must remain vigilant to the risks that Australian customers are facing. Banks need to
provide a service that’s acceptable by New Zealanders and my hope is they will do this by placing customers at the heart
of their decision making,” said Grant Robertson.
“This is not an end, rather a beginning to ensure banks deliver on the privilege of being licenced to operate in this
The FMA and RBNZ will provide specific individual feedback to each bank later this month. The banks will then have until
March 2019 to report back to the regulators and provide plans for addressing the feedback.
The Government would also be looking closely at the findings from the Australian Royal Commission, anticipated in
February 2019, and will be asking the RBNZ and FMA to study the final report to determine if further action is needed in
Kris Faafoi said the Government would be taking on board the report’s recommendations on the regulatory environment for
bank conduct and will determine if regulations need to change.
A programme of work is already underway to improve the regulation of New Zealand’s financial system and to prioritise
customer interests. This includes the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill to strengthen regulation of
financial advice, changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act to target irresponsible lending, and a review
of insurance contract law.
“Ultimately, New Zealand banks need to step up and take greater responsibility for their systems and processes, so that
consumers can have confidence that their finances are in safe hands,” said Kris Faafoi.