The 2013 Code of Banking Practice became effective on 1 February 2014 and replaces the 2004 Code.
Significant changes to the Code include:
- 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.