TSB Bank has backed down and returned a sick pensioner's $150,000 after lawyers were brought in to broker a resolution to the two-month financial standoff.
The frail dementia-sufferer has been unable to access her life savings since May after TSB locked her accounts due to concerns about "unexplained" transactions.
But late last week TSB transferred the funds to a new account the 82-year-old had opened with the Cooperative Bank.
She told the Herald she felt like she'd "won Lotto" after checking her account balance online, before heading out for a haircut and some shopping.
"I feel like I'm floating on air."
The woman's daughter has power of attorney for her elderly mother and has locked horns with TSB over access to her mother's bank accounts to better manage her financial affairs.
The daughter was trespassed from TSB's Tauranga branch in May after taking her power of attorney document to set up internet banking on her mother's accounts.
She claims bank staff accused her of fraud, which TSB denies.
TSB later confirmed it had concerns about "unexplained" transactions on the mother's accounts, which are believed to include a $600 winter bedding purchase from the Warehouse and $20 service station expense.
Several weeks ago TSB was not ruling out calling in police and also refusing any further correspondence on the matter from the two women following an internal investigation.
The mother lives with her daughter, who is her sole caregiver. They live frugally on the mother's pension and the daughter's modest income.
With their money running low after weeks of battling TSB for access to the mother's financial nest egg, the pair hired Tauranga law firm Lyon O'Neale Arnold to help resolve the standoff.
The firm recently wrote to TSB asking the bank to immediately transfer $150,000 to the mother's Cooperative Bank account.
TSB wrote back requesting a signed statement from the mother, which was duly provided and the money transferred overnight.
In a statement, the law firm said it was "pleased we could reach a resolution" for its client.
A TSB spokeswoman declined to comment, other than saying: "Any action we have taken is for the protection and wellbeing of our customer."
The daughter told the Herald she still couldn't quite believe it.
"I couldn't be happier.
"No one should be treated like this. It's horrible what they've put my mother through. An 82-year-old woman doesn't need this in her life."
The daughter said she took her mum for a haircut last week and a spot of shopping to celebrate her new financial autonomy.
"We have been living on my money but she can now go and buy something for herself with her own money.
"Having your own money to spend - it's a dignity thing."
While the last few months had been immensely stressful, the daughter said signing up with Cooperative Bank had been a breeze.
They had also accepted the power of attorney document without issue.
"No problem whatsoever. The difference is really remarkable.
"It's been a long journey."
The Banking Ombudsman is considering a complaint against TSB over the matter, with another complaint filed with the Human Rights Commission.
The women said they are also considering legal action against TSB to seek compensation and damages.