banking Blog Submissions

Draft Code of Banking Practice – Blind Citizens NZ

Submission in response to the Code of Banking Practice Evaluation
Emailed to New Zealand Bankers Affiliation at: [email protected]


The Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand Inc (Blind Citizens NZ) is happy to take benefit of the opportunity to participate within the Code of Banking Practice (Code) Assessment, and comment on the proposed draft Code.

Blind Citizens NZ is a disabled individuals’s organisation (DPO). Our members are blind, vision impaired or deafblind, hereafter referred to as blind. Our response to the draft Code will predominantly be from a blindness perspective.

We are happy to advise this submission has the help of Kāpō Māori Aotearoa NZ (refer

In our submission, we use the time period “alternative formats”. This refers back to the numerous means by which blind individuals access info aside from by means of normal print, i.e. giant print, braille, audio, audio description, electronic units, e mail and the phone. For Deaf or arduous of listening to this may be captions or sign language, and for individuals with a learning incapacity, this can be straightforward learn.

We comply with the release of any comments made in our submission.

In the occasion a chance to speak to and, elaborate on the extent of suggestions offered in our submission is obtainable, we might welcome this. Please contact the Government Officer Rose Wilkinson by way of either of the next choices:
Telephone: 021 222 6940
E mail: [email protected]
Concerning the Code of Banking Practice

Blind Citizens NZ supports the high-level, much less prescriptive strategy taken in the draft Code. We help the five rules of good banking follow must be considered the minimal commonplace that banks have with clients. Nevertheless, we consider banks ought to be encouraged to do greater than be seen to “observe” good banking follow at least.

Moreover, phrases that encourage banks to aspire to do more than meet the minimum commonplace would strengthen the statement to which we refer.

Blind Citizens NZ recognises the Banking Ombudsman plays a big position with regards to clients needing to boost a grievance or concern. Nevertheless, for anybody on this position and needing to seek out out extra about banking issues, the one reference made at this initial point, is to an internet site. Though on the finish of the Code, there is a full set of contact details, clients without internet access, might feel info is lacking if led to consider at this early stage of the doc, that there is but one choice obtainable to them, that is out of their reach.

Blind Citizens NZ encourages an modification to the final assertion in this section in order that it is clear the Code is on the market from multiple source. While it’s useful to know where the Code could be situated on line, we favor the doc to determine it’s out there in a variety of alternate codecs for blind individuals, and from the place they could get hold of them.
What we’ll do for you

We restate our help for each of these 5 rules, which set the edge and expectations for patrons, about how banks will interact with them.

Blind Citizens NZ believes an extra precept that both recognises and honours pertinent international conventions and home parts that embody commitments to disabled and older clients will enhance and strengthen the Code and said dedication to every of these communities. Referring to disabled individuals for example, New Zealand has ratified the United Nations Conference on the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities, and Authorities carried out in 2016, its New Zealand Incapacity Strategy to 2026. Compliance with domestic legislation and requirements such as the Building Code and NZS4121, and Web site requirements that contribute in the direction of accessibility of access in both a sensory and physical context. In our view, introducing and recognising compliance requirements within the rules will strengthen the Code.

Additionally, we consider the voluntary tips for banks (we refer to those later in our submission), ought to be formally launched into the Code.
We’ll deal with you pretty and reasonably

From our perspective, we’d like clarification about what aspect of banking this principle addresses. Within the perception this principle intends to talk about banking behaviours versus conduct and behaviours of bank personnel and clients, the principle in our view, ought to embrace pertinent terminology that ensures clarity of function. We draw to your attention an area we consider highlights where confusion or misunderstanding may happen: “What may be fair and reasonable in any case will depend on the circumstances, including our conduct and yours, what our terms and conditions say, what the law says, and good banking practice.”

Blind Citizens NZ applauds the assertion thus commitment in the direction of “…making reasonable efforts to assist and accommodate the needs of all customers, including older and disabled.”
Nevertheless, we propose that the statement we check with can be stronger and carry more weight by ending the assertion as follows “…older and disabled people are customers too.” We explain why…

Whilst accepting footnote 1 refers to voluntary tips for banks to assist them meet the wants of disabled and older clients, in right now’s surroundings we consider that a lot of what’s included within the tips ought to be obligatory and not voluntary.

Advances in know-how influence modifications in the best way we do things, including banking. The voluntary tips recognise this by encouraging banks to keep tempo with altering applied sciences involving ATMs, digital and internet banking. Additionally they ask banks to think about for instance, use of worldwide W3C net accessibility greatest follow normal, accessibility-related New Zealand e-government net requirements, and so forth. The voluntary tips also recommend that banks should “…consider the provision of alternative banking services to those older and disabled customers who may be unable to use technological innovations.” In our view nevertheless, the voluntary tips fall brief of banks being required (as opposed to considering), the necessity to incorporate accessibility options so they’re designed, carried out and usable, from the outset.

Much as we recognized earlier on this submission, the Code should require banks to ensure that info and know-how is on the market, usable, and accessible to everyone. ATMs, web sites, kiosks, smartphone apps and EFTPOS terminals to name a couple of, have to be designed and built with accessibility options which might be practical from the outset. For instance, the introduction of know-how with audio capability however which is not functioning, and EFPTOS terminals with display displays that do not incorporate use of corresponding perform keys and the quantity pad, forestall blind clients using these applied sciences independently and could also be discriminatory. Designing accessibility features and incorporating these for implementation and usefulness from the outset, is way less expensive and avoids the much higher expense of retrospectively upgrading know-how to satisfy accessibility requirements.

Shifting alongside to print necessities, the voluntary tips determine elementary parts Blind Citizens NZ helps as these meet the wants of clients who’re vision-impaired. We take this opportunity to discuss with the Roundtable on Info Access for Individuals with Print Disabilities Inc the place tips for a variety of alternate codecs might be situated, together with for the production of clear print. Assets reminiscent of these are invaluable and may be situated by way of the next web-link

It seems the rules have been last updated in 2009 – if these are to stay in some type, in our view they have to be pertinent, fit for function and reviewed as soon as each three years at a minimum. We urge the New Zealand Bankers Association to stay aware of the Convention, and to check with Article 1 Objective, Article 3 Common Rules, and Article 9 Accessibility (refer appendix 1). Collectively these articles determine elementary necessities for disabled individuals, and parameters for assembly accessibility requirements.
We’ll talk with you clearly and successfully

Blind Citizens NZ agrees and supports the need for info to be out there in plain language.

Nevertheless, we propose an amendment to numbers one and two of this section to recognise clients have differing access needs, some of whom might require info in an alternate format. Taking this strategy will in our view, reinforce the dedication of the Code to satisfy the various needs of clients.
We’ll respect your privacy and confidentiality and hold our banking techniques secure

Blind Citizens NZ supports the set of statements that sit inside this principle.
We’ll act responsibly if we provide or give you credit

Blind Citizens NZ helps the set of statements that sit inside this principle.
We’ll deal successfully together with your considerations and complaints

Recognising this set of statements consists of references to info being easily obtainable, we check with earlier feedback we’ve got made on this matter i.e. there is a need for the Code to recognise the range of alternate codecs, and from the place these might be obtained. Moreover, know-how that facilitates entry to info have to be accessible to, and usable by anybody who might chose this feature.

Blind Citizens NZ has working relationships with a number of banks, which we worth. The affect we’ve got had over time is clear and there’s no doubt these make a blind bit of distinction as a result of when info and know-how akin to ATMs and EFTPOS terminals are accessible, they guarantee blind individuals too, can perform their banking necessities, safely, confidently, and independently.

As we conclude our suggestions, we urge again, the need for the Code to mirror high-level values and compliance parts at present set out within the voluntary tips for banks. The expectations of blind individuals, disabled individuals and older individuals, and anybody else with specific needs is to not be reliant on the goodwill of others to obtain a dedicated, dedicated service. We take this chance to spotlight that internationally individuals are dwelling longer and that disability-related circumstances similar to loss-of sight, hearing, and mobility happens in an getting older population. Making certain accessibility (and usefulness) of info and know-how for disabled individuals will go a great distance in the direction of delivering on the commitment for all clients to be handled fairly and fairly.

Blind Citizens NZ has a set of “briefs” that determine specific requirements across a variety of areas. In relation to the problems raised in our submission, we embrace on your reference and steerage, briefs that handle entry to public info (revealed 2017), banking (revealed 2011), websites (revealed 2011) and The Great Barrier Temporary (2nd Version/revealed 2017).

About Blind Citizens NZ

Founded in 1945, the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand Inc (Blind Citizens NZ) is New Zealand’s main blindness shopper organisation and one of the nation’s largest organisations of disabled shoppers. Blind Citizens NZ’s purpose is to heighten consciousness of the rights of blind and vision impaired individuals and to take away the limitations that influence upon their capability to stay in an accessible, equitable and inclusive society.

Appendix 1: Excerpt from the United Nations Conference on the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities

Article 1: Function

The aim of the present Convention is to advertise, shield and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and elementary freedoms by all individuals with disabilities, and to promote respect for his or her inherent dignity.

Persons with disabilities embrace those that have long-term bodily, mental, mental or sensory impairments which in interaction with numerous obstacles might hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Article three: Basic rules

The rules of the present Conference shall be:

(a) Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy together with the freedom to make one’s own decisions, and independence of persons;

(b) Non-discrimination;

(c) Full and effective participation and inclusion in society;

(d) Respect for difference and acceptance of individuals with disabilities as part of human variety and humanity;

(e) Equality of opportunity;

(f) Accessibility;

(g) Equality between men and women;

(h) Respect for the evolving capacities of youngsters with disabilities and respect for the suitable of youngsters with disabilities to preserve their identities.

Article 9 Accessibility

1. To allow persons with disabilities to stay independently and take part absolutely in all elements of life, States Events shall take applicable measures to ensure to individuals with disabilities entry, on an equal basis with others, to the bodily setting, to transportation, to info and communications, including info and communications technologies and methods, and to different amenities and providers open or offered to the general public, each in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall embrace the identification and elimination of obstacles and obstacles to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:

(a) Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outside amenities, including faculties, housing, medical amenities and workplaces;

(b) Info, communications and other providers, including digital providers and emergency providers.

2. States Parties shall additionally take applicable measures to:

(a) Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimal requirements and tips for the accessibility of amenities and providers open or offered to the general public;

(b) Make sure that personal entities that provide amenities and providers that are open or offered to the public bear in mind all points of accessibility for individuals with disabilities;

(c) Present training for stakeholders on accessibility issues dealing with individuals with disabilities;

(d) Present in buildings and other amenities open to the public signage in Braille and in straightforward to read and perceive types;

(e) Provide varieties of stay assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other amenities open to the general public;

(f) Promote different applicable types of assistance and help to persons with disabilities to make sure their access to info;

(g) Promote access for individuals with disabilities to new info and communications technologies and methods, including the Internet;

(h) Promote the design, improvement, manufacturing and distribution of accessible info and communications applied sciences and techniques at an early stage, so that these technologies and methods turn into accessible at minimal value.


  • Blind Citizens NZ – Draft Code of Banking Practice