The Banking Ombudsman has held that a bank should reimburse its customer $3,650.00 which was stolen by a grandson of a customer. 

The grandmother had been making purchases in a shop and the grandson had seen her enter the pin number for her credit card.  He had then taken the credit card and spent $3,700.00 over two days before the grandmother realised the card was missing and the transactions had been made.

The bank eventually turned down her request for reimbursement on the basis that she had failed to take reasonable precautions to protect her pin.  The Ombudsman held that the customer had taken reasonable precautions and there was no reason to suspect that the grandson would memorise her pin and steal her credit card when they were out shopping.

The Ombudsman held that it is usual for customers to take extra precautions if a stranger appears to be hovering nearby when making a purchase, but that it is not reasonable to suspect a member of one’s own family in those circumstances.

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Alan Knowsley
Partner
Wellington