ABA to review banks’ code of practice
(8 July 2016 – Australia) The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) has released details of the independent review of the Code of Banking Practice, which sets standards of good conduct for banks.
“The Code of Banking Practice (the Code) is important in helping individual and small business customers understand how they can expect to be treated by their bank,” ABA Chief Executive Steven Münchenberg said.
“The independent review will determine if the Code continues to serve customers’ interests and it will make recommendations on how it could be improved,” he added.
Managing Director of Cameron Ralph Pty Ltd, Phil Khoury, has been appointed to conduct the review of the Code following consultation with key stakeholders and banks. Khoury is also a former executive at industry watchdog Australian Security and Investment Commission.
In a statement, the ABA said that Khoury will work with a variety of stakeholders including “banks, consumer and small business organisations, the Finance Sector Union and employees of banks, regulators.”
Khoury will also conduct a review of the activities of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee, the independent compliance monitoring body established under the Code.
Earlier this year, the bankers association declared that it will undertake a review of the Code to build trust and confidence in banks following a raft of consumer backlash and legal proceedings.
The major banks are wary over the outcome of the Federal election as key several Senate parties have indicated that they will be a royal commission into the banking and finance industry.
The Labor Party, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team, have all expressed strong support for a royal commission into the sector. Additionally new Senate entrants Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie have also expressed support for a royal commission.
“Labor will continue to push for a royal commission into the banking sector and will work with the Parliament to make that happen,” a spokesman for Bill Shorten told The Australian.
Greens finance spokesman and Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said: “This review is simply a strategic move to head off the deep scrutiny of a royal commission.
“Voluntary codes of conduct are weak and hardly enforceable. They take time to change culture and the original code is just years old.”