Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Legal Document 2015


Document name

Home Loan Agreement

Judges’ comment

Overall, this is a very good set of documents, as the WriteMark approval shows.

We like how you’ve spoken directly to the reader using ‘you’ and ‘we’. We are also quite impressed with the clarity of the translation of ‘lawyerly’ and ‘bankerly’ concepts and terms. Well done.

We found the description of how ANZ approached this project quite impressive. We were a little disappointed that you used a focus group (which gathers opinions) but no user testing. Testing that users understand key information would reduce risk to ANZ and to consumers. For example, user testing would have shown you whether customers could identify the key characteristics of their loan and specific information: how much they must pay each month, what happens if they miss a payment, what to do if they get in trouble with their loan, and so on.

Adding user testing to your process would be a logical next step for a company so dedicated to plain language.

Media statement

ANZ welcomes being chosen as a finalist for Best Plain English Legal Document for our ANZ Home Loan Agreement.

ANZ helps more New Zealanders into homes than any other bank.

As New Zealand’s largest home lender, we have a responsibility to help our customers make good decisions and understand the agreements they are signing. A home loan agreement is one of the most significant contracts our customers may sign over their lifetimes. It was important to us that our home loan was clear and easy for our customers to understand.

We believe our new ANZ Home Loan Agreement shows that a legal document does not have to use ‘legalese’.