The Banking Ombudsman recently decided that a customer had acted with reasonable care when his bank card was stolen.

The man realised that someone had transferred $10,000 out of his bank account at which point he alerted the bank. The bank was able to block access to his accounts but could not recover the money that had been lost.

It was later discovered that an acquaintance had stolen the man’s customer number and access token when he hosted some friends in his home. The person had to have gone through the man’s things to find the banking details. 

The bank refused to reimburse the man, saying that he had not taken reasonable care to protect his banking details. The man complained to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman decided that the man had not failed to take reasonable care. The person had gone through the man’s possessions in his own home and had stolen the bank cards. Furthermore, the person had not needed any further details, such as a password, in order to set up the banking accounts on their phone.

The Ombudsman stated that “the fact that someone had gained access to [the man’s] bank details did not, in itself, mean he had failed to take reasonable steps” to protect his accounts.

The Ombudsman decided that the man had taken reasonable steps. The bank later agreed to reimburse the man for the full $10,000.

It is important to be aware of your financial obligations. If you are confused about your obligations, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley and Hunter Flanagan-Connors