ABA responds to Mr Wilkie Independent MP
The ABA has today rejected suggestions from Mr Andrew
Wilkie, Independent MP, who has claimed the Code of Banking
Practice is a 'toothless tiger'. In a media statement1 , Mr
Wilkie has called for a new Code and asked that the
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) be
provided powers to fine, name and shame banks if they
breach his proposed new code.
Steven Münchenberg, Chief Executive of the ABA, said: "The
Code of Banking Practice is a contract between customers
and subscribing banks which means courts can review
compliance with the code."
"Banks' small business customers and individual customers
have a number of avenues they can take a complaint if they
believe that a bank has breached the Code of Banking
Practice. They can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service
(FOS), the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (CCMC) and
the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
"APRA is a prudential regulator and has no role in looking
at these types of issues."
"As well, there are already numerous laws in place which
protect bank customers. We need to be wary of just adding
additional layers of regulation that make it more risky and
expensive to lend to small businesses."
Mr Münchenberg said that bank customers can enforce their
rights under the Code of Banking Practice.
"If a bank customer has a complaint, it is a good first
step is to raise the issue with your bank. Your bank has an
internal complaint handling service to assist you," he
"If your complaint is not resolved or the internal
complaint handling service cannot resolve it, the FOS may
be able to help."
"The FOS can be contacted toll free on 1300 78 08 08 or the
website is www.fos.org.au. The FOS works
with the bank customer and the bank to try and resolve the
dispute. The FOS acts independently by not taking sides. It
aims to get a fair outcome for both parties to a dispute."
"The FOS also provides an annual report which includes
comprehensive Comparative Tables about the disputes
performance of Australia's major financial services
providers which includes banks. Consumers can find out how
likely other consumers were to bring a dispute to FOS about
a particular product from a particular financial service
provider and what the outcomes of disputes involving
particular providers were."
"The CCMC has been set up to investigate possible breaches
of the Code, meaning that a possible breach can be referred
to this committee."
For further information:
Heather Wellard, ABA PR,
T: 02 8298 0411
M: 0409 830 439
1"Taming the Banking Tigers". Tuesday, 21 August,