The number of complaints, inquiries and disputes taken to the ombudsman about New Zealand banks has risen by 14 per cent in the past year.

Figures released today by the Banking Ombudsman show it had 3972 cases brought to it about the banks in the year to June 30.

Banks have been under increasing pressure in recent months in the wake of Australia's royal commission into misconduct in the financial services sector which has exposed poor practices in the industry.

New Zealand regulators the Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank have responded by calling for written responses from New Zealand banks to show how they are clean and are now working through those.


Nicola Sladden, the head of Banking Ombudsman Service, said it was too early to say whether the royal commission and moves by New Zealand's regulators had impacted its caseload.

"It is too early to say what impact that publicity will have. What we have found is year on year more people have come to us for help."

She said it was important New Zealanders felt they had someone to go to if they had a disagreement with their bank.

"In light of what is happening in Australia we want to ensure people feel confident raising any concern with their bank directly or with us."

ANZ- the country's largest bank - had the largest share of cases at 17 per cent - although that was much lower than the 30 per cent of total New Zealand assets it manages.

While Kiwibank has only 3.9 per cent of New Zealand's assets 14 per cent of the cases dealt with by the ombudsman related to the state-owned bank.

The main problem areas across the banks related to lending, bank accounts and payment systems.

But there was also a rise in cases relating to new areas of banking.


Cases relating to digital currency bitcoin rose 70 per cent off a low base while cases relating to binary options were up 50 per cent.

The service also saw a 37 per cent rise in scam complaints.