The Whistleblowing Service operates as an arm of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (BOS). We provide bank employees with a safe and independent channel for reporting wrongdoing. We are funded by banks but are independent of them.
We are entirely separate from the Banking Ombudsman Scheme's dispute resolution activities. Our team has no access to BOS's complaints database (and vice versa). Our manager reports directly to the Banking Ombudsman. Our board monitors the effectiveness and independence of what we do.
BOS aims to promote high standards of conduct and maintain confidence in the banking system. Providing a whistleblowing service is consistent with this strategic focus. It is in the public interest to ensure New Zealand banks operate with high integrity and transparency. There is a strong connection between the environment banks create for their staff and the resulting outcomes for customers.
In 2018, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and Financial Markets Authority (FMA) undertook a conduct and culture review. This review recommended strengthening staff reporting channels, including whistleblower processes. The New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA) proposed establishing an independent industry-wide whistleblowing service, to be provided by BOS. We launched this service in February 2021.