ANZ Promises Bonus Bond Payment Before Christmas, But For Aspiring First-Time Home Buyer, It’s Too Late

Wellingtonian Wahid Zaman is still waiting for his Bonus Bond money from ANZ, and he says it’s costing him the chance to own an affordable home.

On October 8 of last year, ANZ sent him and hundreds of thousands of others an email announcing the closing of Bonus Bonds, the largest fund liquidation in the history of New Zealand, with $ 3.25 billion to return to investors.

ANZ gave Zaman two options: take his money immediately by getting $ 1 back for every $ 1 bonus bond he owned, or leave his money invested for “up to 12 months”, and get a share of the fund’s reserves. .

He chose to leave his money, but more than 12 months later, and Zaman has not got his money back, with ANZ blaming the delay on Covid, a shortage of IT staff and the need to invest in IT systems to perform refunds to investors.

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The delay has become a property buyer’s nightmare for Zaman. ANZ pre-approved a mortgage for him, and he made two offers on houses, both of which relied on him to get his Bonus Bonds money by October 31, before ANZ realized his mistake.

Unable to bid on homes, Zaman watched in frustration as home prices in Wellington rose.

“I am completely overpriced for these properties. I can’t even think of buying these properties because the prices have gone up so much, ”he said.

50 years after their creation, Bonus Bonds must be closed.

In a November 29 letter, ANZ admitted that the information it gave regarding when the Bonus Bonds were paid was “confusing,” and agreed that Zaman believed he would receive his money by the end of October.

“We sincerely regret any confusion we have caused you,” the bank told him.

ANZ also apologized for approving the loan, saying it should have realized that it would not get the money from its Bonus Bonds on time.

ANZ, which made a profit of just under $ 2 billion in the year ending Sept. 31, also apologized for its slowness in responding to Zaman’s complaints.

He offered Zaman compensation and reimbursement of costs of $ 3,000, which he said was not enough.

“It doesn’t seem right or fair at all,” he said.

“Now I don’t even bother to open houses anymore because I’m completely overpriced. “

Bonus Bonds were originally sold through the post office.

Provided

Bonus Bonds were originally sold through the post office.

“The loan offer they originally made shouldn’t have been made. It was a mistake on their part because (part) of the money in the deposit was still blocked, ”Zaman said.

He tried through a mortgage broker to get financing, but couldn’t.

“Not only could I not get any loans from ANZ without my money, I couldn’t get any loans from any other bank,” he said.

In a statement to Thing, ANZ said the scheduled liquidation date in emails sent to investors in October last year was an “indicative date.”

“No specific deadline has been set for the payment,” said a spokesperson.

“We plan to pay out $ 1.10 for each Bonus Bond to all domestic and international bondholders, who have provided their current bank details, before Christmas,” she said.

“During the year, we kept investors informed through our annual report and our website that our scheduled payment date had been moved to December,” she said.

The delay in paying their money to Bonus Bonds investors was not caused by difficulties in selling the bonds and bank deposits in which they invested.

“Making payments necessitated significant changes in the technological systems of Bonus Bonds. It took some time because it is important that it is done well, ”said the spokesperson.

“We have also had to deal with the disruption of Covid-19 lockdowns and a shortage of specialist tech staff across the industry. “

Zaman believes that ANZ provided him with misleading information about an investment causing him financial loss and complained to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

“This is clearly a violation of the law,” Zaman said. “They can’t post one piece of information in one place and another in a different place.

“If they had given me the full information early on, I wouldn’t have left my money with them in the first place. “

He said other bonus bond investors were reportedly caught like him.

The FMA said it could not comment on the complaints.


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