'The banks are going to have to pull their socks up' - what yesterday's banking review means for consumers

Following yesterday's warning to banks over their culture towards customers, Consumer New Zealand says that the report addresses concerns they've held for a long time.

The report by the Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank does not consider there to be widespread misconduct or poor culture issues across NZ banks, as has been discovered by a Royal Commission in Australia.

Read more: Landmark report tells New Zealand's banks to change culture, remove sales incentives

They must do more to protect consumers, the report stated, prompting some stern words from PM Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS

But it's identified a number of problems with the management of "conduct risks". That leaves banks "vulnerable to misconduct".

The report calls for banks to remove all sales incentives for staff – such as selling banking products to customers.

Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning, Consumer New Zealand's Sue Chetwin spoke about the findings of the report, and the warning issued to our biggest banks.

The report calls for banks to remove all sales incentives for staff. Source: 1 NEWS

"Really, what this whole inquiry has found, is that banks have got to be much better at putting products that consumers actually want or need at the centre of their thinking, rather than just trying to sell some of the junk products that we think are out there - and really look after the consumer," Ms Chetwin said.

"If you can take anything from this review, the banks are going to have to pull their socks up in terms of how they treat their customers."

Ms Chetwin also said that there should be responsibility placed on the government, having allowed such a culture among banks to flourish.

"What both the regulators have said, is that there are gaps in regulation.

"They could do more with banks and just harden up, but they just don't have to tools to do that.

"They just need a bit more regulation, so that they can ensure that banks behave properly."

As far as the consumer is concerned though, the release of yesterday's findings can be held in positive regard.

"From a consumer perspective, this is great.

"When they go into a bank, they might actually be getting some very good advice, and advice they can trust and use."

The report's findings will be good for customers, says Sue Chetwin. Source: Breakfast