My fellow blogger Lance Wiggs tends to be a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to banks in new Zealand, in light of the fact that he’s sitting somewhere in the middle of Africa, I figured I’d take up the baton.

I’ve banked with the Bank of New Zealand for over 25 years now. Between myself, my own business and my related entities (see here and here) , I’m part of a dozen or so business accounts with them – most of which include business lending. Over the 25 years I’d hate to think how much I’ve spent on mortgage interest and bank and transaction fees – I’ve always been happy to do so however, receiving as we do the services of a business manager who (sometimes) tries to understand our business and be proactive around that.

A couple of years however the BNZ changed its systems and we were moved from our business manager onto a business partner. While this may same purely a semantic change, it would seem that this tier of bankers are little more than retail staffers on their way up, unaccustomed to what is important to business. I even proactively offered to invite my banker into my businesses Xero accounts to give them some visibility over how the businesses are doing – that suggestion was several hundred meters over the heads of these staffers (which is ironic given the BNZ’s shareholding in Xero).

A couple of weeks ago our business partner went on leave and was replaced. Around the same time one of our mortgages ended its fixed period and I decided I wanted to alter the facility somewhat. Despite promises that the documents would be ready in a week – it is now three weeks later and the documents just showed up, and they are incorrect.

Add to this the fact that the business partner rang me the other day to ask for a debtors list of an associated, but separate business, and the fact that we’ve been charged an errant search fee and despite requests haven’t had the charge replaced, and one can see that the BNZ is rapidly losing it’s appeal.

I may be wrong but I would have thought that the combined accounts of businesses with several million in turnover, combined debt of well over seven figures and an annual banking spend of many thousands of dollars, would have warranted a bit of service. Maybe I was wrong.

I’m not quite ready to move to another business bank, but suffice it to say that if someone was willing to take the time to understand my businesses, was prepared to offer a reasonable level of service, and could get the basics right… I’d consider it.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Stay away from the ASB then. My service from them was incompetent at best. I'm pretty sure the branch manager we were dealing with was unable to read. Once our fixed rate expires we are out of there.

  • Have you tried escalating this – e.g. to your local branch manager?

    My frustrations with banks are legion, but the principal one is the same as yours – failure to recognise the value of the extent of my business to them when it should be abundantly clear from their own information.

  • @Lance – no not yet. I kind of figure this should just work regardless of how bolshy I get (or don’t for that matter)…

    Will see how this thing pans out….

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