BCCC welcomes ABA response to review of Committee’s work

The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has welcomed the Australian Banking Association’s announcement that it has accepted most of the recommendations within its remit of the independent review into the BCCC and its work.

“These changes will, ultimately, deliver better outcomes for consumers,” BCCC Chair Ian Govey AM said. “They will improve transparency by holding banks to account for the promises they make under the Code.”

The review of the BCCC made a total of 19 recommendations. Ten were within the BCCC’s power to implement while the remaining nine required the acceptance of the ABA because they required a change to the Banking Code or the BCCC Charter.

The ABA rejected one recommendation – that banks publish details on their own websites if they were named in a BCCC report for not complying with the Code.

Mr Govey said this was disappointing but added that the Committee was pleased the ABA had accepted in principle a separate recommendation that banks be named in the BCCC’s regular reporting on breaches.

“We look forward to working with the ABA to map out the plan for this new milestone in reporting,” he said.

The accepted recommendations will also result in greater sharing of information with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

“This will allow greater co-ordination between organisations and ensure consumers receive the appropriate response to issues. It also avoids duplication for banks,” Mr Govey said.

The 10 recommendations that the BCCC is implementing itself include steps to clarify roles and priorities, improvements to monitoring and reporting and more targeted and timely inquiries.

The BCCC has already undertaken considerable work to revitalise its Small Business and Agribusiness Advisory Panel, bringing diverse perspectives to its work. It welcomes the ABA’s decision to give the Panel time to establish itself rather than appoint a fourth member to the Committee at this time.

“With the ABA and banks, we are already working on projects to improve the consistency of compliance reporting and benchmarking,” Mr Govey said.

See the BCCC’s response to the review and a link to the full report. The BCCC is also keeping stakeholders updated on its progress with a dashboard outlining it projects.

The independent review of the BCCC, conducted by Phil Khoury, began in August 2021 and the report was published in December 2021. This regular review was held in parallel with the separate independent review of the Banking Code of Practice.

About the Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC)

The BCCC is an independent Committee that monitors and drives best practice compliance with the Banking Code of Practice. The BCCC examines banks’ practices, identifies current and emerging industry-wide problems, recommends improvements to practice, sanctions banks for serious compliance failures, and keeps stakeholders and the public informed.