The Australian banking industry have been under public scrutiny for the last few months after the Banking Royal Commission revealed systemic misconduct within the industry.
In an attempt to restore community trust in the banking sector, the Australian Banking Association have devised a new Banking Code of Practice. The corporate regulator ASIC have approved this new code following a comprehensive review.
Changes to the Code
The code is committed to offering more inclusive and accessible banking services, promoting responsible lending and providing greater financial protection to consumers.
The key changes to the code include:
- Assisting low income clients to pick appropriate financial products;
- A commitment to look after vulnerable customers;
- Delayed offering of add-on products such as insurance;
- Providing small businesses with simplified loan contracts; and
- Enhanced dispute resolution processes.
Banks will now begin implementing the industry code into their own company policies, train their staff, and alter their technology systems to reflect the new rules.
Whilst the code represents an attempt to change the banking industry, the monitoring and enforcement of the new code remains an issue of concern. Many of the cases of misconduct identified during the Banking Royal Commission so far have involved a blatant failure to adhere to existing codes. More needs to be done to ensure that the new code is not merely an ideal standard, but is adhered to and enforced. The completion of the Banking Royal Commission will also see a set of recommendations aimed at addressing the systemic misconduct within the industry.
What’s ahead for the Banking Royal Commission?
Whilst the Banking Royal Commission have already heard evidence in relation to banks, they are currently examining issues in relation to superannuation. The upcoming sixth round of hearings in September will look into issues related to insurance. We are calling for anyone that may have useful information in relation to misconduct involving insurance provider.
If you have experienced misconduct during an interaction with an insurance provider, contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors. We can assist you in making a submission to the Banking Royal Commission, and if the Royal Commission calls you as a witness, we can apply to represent you on a grant of financial assistance. Call us on (02) 9261 4281 or send us a message through our contact form.