Improvements for Consumers But Concerns Linger Over Reporting Practices

puzzle, to learn, arrangement-320754.jpg
a puzzle with grey pieces that is half-completed, the other pieces are missing.

The Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee (COBCCC) has recently released its Annual Report for 2022-23 (available here). There was positive news in terms of the preparedness of customer-owned banks to adopt the new 2022 Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice (the Code) which has been characterised as clearer and stronger in its commitments, especially regarding vulnerable consumers, than the previous Code.

However, serious concerns have also been raised in the Annual Report over the lack (sometimes zero or close to) reporting of breaches and complaints. This result, particularly concerning given rising inflation and increased cost-of-living expenses, echoes the Insurance Brokers Code Compliance Committee’s (IBCCC) 2022-23 Annual Report which also dealt with a new 2022 Code and had similar low-to-none breach and complaint reports.

From the COBCCC Annual Report:
[COBCCC] work in 2022-23 also revealed the continuation of inadequate and poor-quality reporting of breaches and complaints among some customer owned banking institutions. Too many subscribers reported zero or very small numbers of breaches and complaints again. This is a concerning trend.

It is important to be able to identify, report and learn from issues that arise from time to time. Collecting
quality data and reporting breaches is fundamental and a strong indicator of effective compliance
frameworks and risk management in a customer owned banking institution.

The effectiveness of the Code hinges on identifying, reporting and addressing breaches swiftly. We expect
that our efforts to improve this area will see more accurate reporting from customer owned banking
institutions in the coming year.

COBCCC 2022-23 Annual Report, Chair’s Message, p5