Consumers with special needs

15119-0402If you are an older person or have a disability, you are entitled to particular service standards from banks that subscribe to the Code of Banking Practice.

Access to transaction services

These banks are obliged to recognise your need to have access to transaction services – essentially access to a bank account – and to take reasonable measures to enhance your access to those services. These obligations are detailed under clause 7 of the Code.

Banks can enhance your access in numerous ways, from producing information in big print or braille and offering access to phone services for the hearing impaired, to providing wheelchair access to branches and ensuring Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are at wheelchair height.

If banks do not take reasonable measures to enhance your access, they may be breaching their obligations under the Code.

Access to no or low fee accounts

If you tell a Code-subscribing bank that you are a low income earner or a disadvantaged person, they must provide you with information about accounts that may be suitable to your needs, including details of accounts that attract no or low standard fees and charges.

This obligation is covered under clause 16 of the Code and is particularly relevant if you have a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card. If you have one of these cards, make sure you inform your bank – or prospective bank – as they are then obliged to tell you about their no or low fee accounts.

Useful resources

Affordable banking A banking industry initiative to make it easier for low income customers to find a better basic bank account.
Internet banking standard All organisations providing services to the general public are obliged by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 to ensure that online information and services are accessible by people with disabilities.This standard has been developed to improve accessibility of electronic banking services including:

·         Electronic Funds Transfer at the Point of Sale (EFTPOS)

·         Automated Telephone Banking

·         Internet Banking, and

·         Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

Find out more

Concerned a bank has breached its code obligations in providing services to you? Report your concern to the CCMC.

Download the Code of Banking Practice (PDF 6.68 MB)