I read sometimes that people wonder about the actions of banks and whether they should have a moral and ethical obligations towards its customers.
Here is a link to an article on Stuff which, amongst other things, asks that question.
Probably the best person to answer that is the Banking Ombudsman. In their letter to me regarding ASB bank, they advised
“….The words “duty or obligation” generally refer to a legal obligation or an obligation under a code of practice. They do not include a moral or ethical duty, neither of which is enshrined in law and about both of which opinions differ.”
That’s a polite way of saying that banks do not have any moral or ethical obligations and nor is that part of their customer service.
Corporations don’t have to be “nice” to customers, the same goes also for other large corporations like telecommunication companies and insurance.
There is so little competition from any other competitor, even if you do leave because of poor service, you are likely to return at some point in your life. Banks and corporations keep customer profiles and histories for life, so they get to decide whether they will take you on as a customer.
In NZ it is always expected that the customer is responsible for their own actions when dealing with corporations like the banks and others. Corrupt banks and corporations in NZ will never be penalised by the courts for their wrongs, and if you are harmed by the wrongful actions of a bank, no court anywhere will rule in your favour.
A lot of what is portrayed in the media about the banking industry and other corporations are to hide the truth about how those industries actually operate. Evidence I gathered to understand the bankruptcy against me showed not only did the banks act fraudulently but they joined with others including government agents and solicitors, for the one goal, to try and keep me in debt for the rest of my life. Once the banks realise you start to take control of your spending and reduce your debt, they will bankrupt you, to make sure you can never borrow money again. Which could mean a substantial loss of income for the bank, so they retaliate. Its all about the life time value of the customer. Why else do you think it takes 30 years to pay off a mortgage.
I learned the hard way that bankruptcy will stay with you for life, because the government makes it public. That is the punishment the lending industries put upon you, not for defaulting on your debt, but that you wish to put yourself in a better financial position so you cannot get into debt again.
The economist of Westpac bank in an article says that NZ’s economy is built on debt. With the household debt levels at more than $260 billion, that fact is certainly true.