Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Legal Document 2015


Document name

ANZ Guarantee

Judges’ comment

The purpose is almost clear, although the short explanation at the top doesn’t say what you’ve become liable for. It is possible to figure this out from the context though.

Layout is an important way of guiding readers. We recommend using more than the most basic word processing tools to lay out this document. This document uses language well, but that could be matched by the other tools of plain language. Consider shorter text lines, callouts, page breaks between sections, and other emphatic devices.

You’ve clearly worked hard to replace technical language with plainer, easy-to-understand language. You’ve done an admirable job.

This is very different to a normal guarantee, and admirably short.  The document bears the WriteMark logo, but had no external input. It’s impressive that you did this entirely in-house.

Media statement

ANZ is delighted to be a finalist for Best Plain English Legal Document for our guarantee.

ANZ helps more New Zealanders into homes than any other bank. When a customer takes out a home loan with us, we may need to take a guarantee as security. A guarantee is a legal document that has a significant impact on the guarantor. It is vital that the guarantor understands what they are agreeing to before they sign.
We rewrote our guarantee with a clear aim: to be transparent and help guarantors make an informed decision about their obligations and potential risks.