Background

  • The Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) Banking Code of Practice (the Code) contains a set of contractually enforceable industry standards that customers and small businesses can expect subscribing banks to uphold.
  • The Code has been in place in various forms since 1993, including a range of protections that are intended to complement and set higher standards than the law, covering topics such as using banking services, inclusive and accessible banking, applying for loans, small business lending, guarantees, financial difficulty, defaults, and complaints handling.
  • The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) is the independent body that monitors compliance with the Code by the subscribing banks and drives best practice.
  • While the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) endorsement is not obligatory, the ABA’s voluntary submission of the proposed new Code to ASIC reflects a commitment to consumer confidence.

The Proposed Code

Following an independent review of the Code in 2021, a new iteration of the Code has been formulated and submitted for ASIC’s approval.

The ABA’s submission to ASIC encompasses:

  1. the draft revised Code (Proposed Code);
  2. the BCCC Charter (Proposed Charter); and
  3. a new customer-facing document, ‘Banking with confidence: your key rights and protections as a customer’ (Proposed Customer Guide).

For the first time, ASIC will undertake public consultation before providing any final approval of the Proposed Code to ensure that the Proposed Code continues to benefit customers, small businesses and subscribing banks.

What will happen next?

 

Significant changes to the Code

ASIC’s consultation paper and supporting documents containing the full details of the proposed changes to the Code can be found at the following link: CP 373 Proposed changes to the Banking Code of Practice | ASIC .

The significant changes to the Code are summarised as follows:

What’s next?

The public is invited to comment on the Proposed Code, Proposed Charter and Proposed Customer Guide by 11:59pm AEDT on 15 January 2024. Submissions should be sent to [email protected].

ASIC will consider the feedback received, engage with the ABA to seek any improvements to the Proposed Code and look to decide on approving the code in the first half of 2024.