2013 Code effective

The 2013 Code of Banking Practice became effective on 1 February 2014 and replaces the 2004 Code.

Significant changes to the Code include:

 New and stronger financial hardship provisions – banks are more alert to people who may be in financial difficulty when meeting their repayments, staff to respond promptly to requests for assistance, and banks to ensure staff are trained in understanding the bank’s financial hardship commitments;
  • A commitment not to combine accounts or assign the customer’s debt when a bank is actively considering whether the customer is in financial difficulty;
  • A commitment to provide information about no or low-fee accounts to customers if the bank becomes aware the customer has a Commonwealth concession card, such as a Seniors Health Card, Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card;
  • Clarification that chargeback rights exist for disputed transactions on relevant debit cards, including debits under recurrent payment arrangements;
  • New provisions for customers in remote Indigenous communities, including making relevant information accessible, providing assistance to customers to meet identification requirements and appropriately training relevant staff to be culturally aware;
  • A commitment that banks only sell debts to third parties that agree to comply with the ‘Debt Collection Guideline: for Collectors and Creditors’; and
  • A commitment to send customers with a mortgage, on a primary place of residence or residential investment property, an annual reminder about their insurance obligations.

A copy of the ABA’s press release can be found here.