ANZ reports the most complaints of any bank, according to new data from the banking ombudsman, and is responsible for more than its market share suggests.

The Banking Ombudsman program has launched a new industry dashboard that shows how many complaints each bank has received, how long it takes them to resolve, and how that compares to the bank’s market share.

For its part, ANZ says the data only shows that it is the most proactive in gathering information about complaints.

“Owning, dealing with and learning from complaints leads to better outcomes for customers,” said banking ombudsman Nicola Sladden.

“Sharing complaints data is a big step towards more transparency and accountability.”

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ANZ has a 29.6% market share, but was responsible for 45.6% of all complaints collected by banks and reported to the Banking Ombudsman for inclusion in the scorecard.

This is ahead of ASB, which has 19% of the market but only 10.6% of complaints, and BNZ which has 18.8% of the market and 13.3% of complaints.

Kiwibank also received more complaints than its market share – at 5.5% of complaints but 4.2% of the market.

The dashboard shows that more than 27,000 complaints were received by all banks from October 1 to December 31, 2020, an increase from the previous quarter.

It provides a breakdown of issues, products and services that customers are complaining about, such as home loans, credit cards, internet banking or investments. Most complaints were about service issues.


The Chief Executive of the Financial Markets Authority, Rob Everett, and the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Adrian Orr, present the findings of their joint review of the conduct and culture of banks in New Zealand. First published in 2018.

Sladden said the purpose of the new table of individual banks was not to compare raw numbers and warned that banks varied in their ability to record complaints.

“Direct comparisons may not give an accurate indication of service levels because banks vary in size, ability to capture complaints and they offer different products to the public,” she said.

“It is inevitable that things go wrong sometimes. What matters is how the problems are solved. Banks deal with hundreds of thousands of customers and process millions of transactions every day. We strongly encourage banks to log all complaints, so they have every opportunity to improve their products and services for customers,” Sladden said.

ANZ spokesman Stefan Herrick said: “The figures show that we are not sweeping complaints under the rug. Our high number is due to the fact that we are the largest bank and have very thorough processes in place to voluntarily capture and manage complaints, no matter how small.

“Complaints are being logged in branches, in our call centers, by relationship managers and online, including social media, and range from customer questions about fees to complicated questions about home loans,” he said. he declared.

“We strongly encourage staff to write down any complaints they receive, so that we can identify issues and improve them, and have done so for years. We believe that by voluntarily collecting complaints and listening to what customers say, we can identify service issues and improve them.

Herrick said that in the last financial year, ANZ made 34 changes to products, services or processes in response to customer complaints.

“We also have a fee waiver or reduction program in response to customer feedback. Last year we removed a total of eight fees and the work continues,” he said.

ANZ was the fastest bank to resolve complaints, he said.

He said data collected by independent researcher Comorra showed ANZ had not collected more complaints than rival banks, and the scorecard figures were raw data collected by the banks and passed on to the Ombudsman.

Nicola Sladden, the banking ombudsman, has opened a 'whistleblower' line that bank workers can use to report concerns about bad behavior by their employers.


Nicola Sladden, the banking ombudsman, has opened a ‘whistleblower’ line that bank workers can use to report concerns about bad behavior by their employers.

Sladden said a high number of complaints could signal a strong commitment to capturing and learning from complaints, no matter how small.

“The real value is in the trends, issues and insights, which will develop over time. Banks are working with us to improve the collection and consistency of this individual bank data.

The Banking Ombudsman has also launched an anonymous whistleblower service that bank workers can call to dob their employer without fear of losing their job.

Most complaints to banks were about poor service, with failure to follow instructions being the most common cause of complaint.

The most criticized financial service was loans.

The launch of the scoreboard comes just ahead of a consultation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Jobs to “harmonise” the various financial services complaints bodies.

Under New Zealand Financial Markets Acts, all financial services providers must be members of an authorized complaints system, the three most important being the Banking Ombudsman, Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman and Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL).

But the programs have different terms and conditions and have different limits on the monetary value of complaints they review.

While the Banking Ombudsman can investigate claims for monetary loss up to $350,000, the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman and FSCL have a cap of $200,000.

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