Deaf man in his 90s trespassed from bank: 'I have lost my personal dignity'

A Christchurch bank is being accused of elder abuse after trespassing a 93-year-old customer who is legally deaf and suffers from dementia.

The action was taken two weeks ago when Cheng Kung got into an argument with the manager at the Bank of New Zealand branch in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch, who claimed Mr Kung hit her with an umbrella.

Hi Michael,

Due to privacy concerns BNZ can’t comment publicly about individual cases.

However, speaking generally - the welfare and safety of our customers and employees is paramount to BNZ. On the very rare occasions when our people do deal with distressed customers we will work with the customer to try to get the best possible outcome for them.

These situations can be extremely upsetting and difficult for everyone involved.

Treating customers with kindness and respect is the way we look after everyone who comes in to our branches. We also have a duty of care to ensure all our customers and staff are safe.

Where our people can’t resolve issues with customers themselves they will work with family and friends of the customer. Where appropriate we’ll also work with other financial services providers to ensure our customer’s welfare is supported.

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What quantifable risk does a 93 year old present?

That’s just the sort of lack of perspective which causes things to end this way.

I have drawn my own conclusions about this matter (in conjunction with my own observations about some of the BNZ’s policies) and could best suggest the staff involved see the world for what it is, not based on fear.

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