The Banking Ombudsman has accepted a woman’s complaint about her bank’s failure to restructure her loan after multiple requests. These failures led to the woman paying more interest than she should have.

The woman requested the bank to restructure her loan into two loans. One loan with a set interest rate, and the other a floating interest rate off-set by her savings.

An off-set home loan means that the amount of interest you pay can be reduced by your savings, and you can pay off your loan more quickly.

The bank told the woman it would take 6 to 10 weeks to implement the change, but that they would reimburse her for any higher interest she had to pay in that time. After the 10 weeks, the woman called the bank to see whether the restructure had happened.

The bank had not yet implemented the restructure and promised to do so on the call. However, when they completed the restructure, they only linked the home loan to her main savings account. The bank also failed to explain how they had made the interest rate calculations.

The woman called the bank again a few weeks later, complaining that only one of her savings accounts had been linked to the loan, which is contrary to her request. She asked the bank to change this and increase her loan repayments. The woman also requested information about the calculation of her interest.

The bank failed to link the other savings accounts immediately and never provided the calculations. The woman made a complaint to the Ombudsman, stating that she was $3,000 worse off because of the bank’s mistakes.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found that the woman was not $3,000 worse off, but the bank had made multiple mistakes. The bank had failed to link the woman’s accounts and increase her repayments when asked. The bank also made multiple promises to provide information which they never did.

The bank reviewed its processes and agreed to repay the woman $5,400.

It is important to be aware of your rights as a customer. If you think you have been treated unfairly, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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Alan Knowsley and Hunter Flanagan-Connors