The FMA regulates certain products that may be offered by banks (e.g. managed funds), and is interested in the overall conduct of banks. However, we do not currently have a direct legislative mandate for regulating the conduct of providers of core retail banking services such as lending, credit and bank accounts.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is the prudential supervisor of banks, which means they monitor banks’ financial safety and stability.
In 2025, the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Act 2022 (CoFI Act) will introduce a new regulatory regime for the conduct of registered banks, licensed insurers, and licensed non-bank deposit takers (e.g. credit unions). These providers will need to be licensed by the FMA, and adhere to a ‘fair conduct’ principle that will require them to treat consumers fairly. This includes:
Although the above requirements won’t be formally introduced until 2025, you are still entitled to fair treatment from your bank. If you believe you have not been treated fairly, you can make a complaint directly to your bank, or to your bank’s dispute resolution scheme. Read more about disputes and consumer protection
The Banking Ombudsman investigates and resolves disputes between customers and their banks. They also deal with complaints about a range of non-bank financial service providers.