Complaints about banks are on the up but the number of disputes have dropped, according to the latest report by the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.

Photo: RNZ

Just over 3100 people made complaints during the last financial year – a 6 percent increase.

Of those, 140 escalated their complaints to disputes – which was a decrease of 3 percent.

Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden believed the rise in complaints was because customers are more willing to seek help when they encountered problems with their bank.

“We encourage customers to speak up, ask questions and make complaints. It’s inevitable that things will sometimes go wrong. What matters is how problems are put right,” she said.

Sladden credited the scheme’s early resolution service for the drop in disputes, saying 96 percent of complaints were resolved within a matter of days.

“The key is to nip problems in the bud early. When people have problems, they need to be heard and responded to as…

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