On 20 August, APRA published Guidelines: Restricted Words under the Banking Act 1959 (Guidelines).

The Guidelines state that the Banking Act places restrictions on financial businesses using certain words and expressions related to banking, and that oly persons that have been granted approval by APRA can use the following words or expressions in Australia in relation to their financial business (unless an exception in the Banking Act applies):

  • ‘bank’, ‘banker’ and ‘banking’
  • ‘building society’, ‘credit union’, ‘credit society’ and ‘credit co-operative’
  • ‘authorised deposit-taking institution’ and
  • ‘ADI’ (except where these letters are used as part of another word).

In the Guidelines, APRA states that similar words and expressions, whether in English or other languages, are also restricted.  These restrictions apply to any ‘financial business’, meaning a business that includes or relates to the provision of financial services, whether or not in Australia.  There is no restriction on an ADI using any of the restricted words listed above.