September 27, 2021

Banking watchdog reports deluge of hardship complaints, big rise in scams

Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden. Photo / File

The latest report from the banking industry watchdog has revealed a heavy volume of complaints related to financial hardship applications, a 21 per cent increase in scams, and a 6 per cent rise in complaints overall.

Overall complaints numbered 3149 and the report noted that financial hardship was a recurring theme in the Banking Ombudsman Scheme’s latest annual report released this morning.

Ombudsman Nicola Sladden received 319 complaints related to financial hardship or debt collection in the year to June. These complaints were usually associated with credit cards, home loans, or KiwiSaver.

Covid heightened the need to give customers financial hardship support and other forms of help, she said.

“Banks are expected to look out for, and take particular care with, customers experiencing vulnerabilities – including financial hardship, which was a recurring theme last year,” Sladden said.


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