Banking

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A rise in reported breaches of the industry Code of Practice indicates better reporting from customer-owned banking institutions but also a sign of the need for improvements in reporting and remediation.  The Annual Data Report from the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee (COBCCC), which covers the 2022-23 reporting period, shows that the number of customer…

Read More Customer Owned Banks Urged to Continue Improving Reporting Practices

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A lack of transparent pricing information caused a poor understanding by consumers of how prices were set. This was significantly worsened by a lack of competition. While market concentration was a major issue, the inquiry found prices in Australia are way higher than in many other less competitive markets.

Large price increases occurred across many sectors.

Read More Supermarkets, airlines and power companies are charging ‘exploitative’ prices despite reaping record profits

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ASIC has published a summary document from a 30 November 2023 virtual workshop which focussed on building an understanding of identification verification challenges faced by First Nations consumers, and how industry can apply flexible approaches while meeting legislative requirements.

Read More ASIC Releases Summary for Indigenous Financial Services Framework Workshop

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“The volume of complaints escalated to AFCA has been increasing at an unsustainable rate,” David Locke, the Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), said.  

“Scam-related complaints to AFCA have nearly doubled between 2022 and 2023. They continue to be of great concern to us. We are also seeing the impact of increased interest rates and cost of living pressures, with complaints involving financial hardship also significantly higher,” Mr Locke said.

Read More Ombudsman Warns of “Unsustainable” Increase as AFCA sees a Record 100,000 Complaints

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Every Australian deserves equitable access to banking services. That’s why the Australian Banking Association (ABA) has broadened the scope of its accessibility framework to ensure the banking sector remains inclusive in a fast-changing digital landscape.
An important addition to the Accessibility and Inclusion Principles for Banking Services is a section on embedding accessibility into digital authentication processes, as the banking industry steps up its fight against scams, fraud and identiy theft. 

Read More ABA Updates and Broadens Accessibility Framework

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Original media release ASIC (17/11/2023). Today ASIC opened its consultation on the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) proposed changes to its Banking Code of Practice (the Code). The Code contains a set of contractually enforceable standards that customers and small business can expect subscribing banks to uphold. The ABA plans to apply for ASIC approval of…

Read More ABA Consults ASIC on Proposed Banking Code Changes

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The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) is working with the Australian Banking Association (ABA) to coordinate with 12 of its members to ensure banking services offered through Bank@Post comply with the Banking Code of Practice.

Bank@Post arrangements provide a valuable face-to-face service, particularly as banks close branches, especially in regional and remote areas.

The BCCC wants to ensure, as a priority, that important consumer protections have been implemented for the services banks offer through Bank@Post.

Read More Banking Code Compliance Committee Prioritises Bank@Post’s Compliance with the Code

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The Better Banking for Indigenous Consumers Project reviewed target market determinations (TMDs) for both high-fee and low-fee ‘basic’ accounts offered by some of Australia’s major and regional banks. ASIC issued notices to those banks requiring data on fees charged to consumers in locations with higher-than-average proportions of Indigenous people and for customers in receipt of AbStudy payments.

The review found that many Indigenous consumers identified in the data were in high fee accounts paying high fees, despite being eligible for a low-fee ‘basic’ account.

Read More ASIC Acts to Ensure Better Banking Outcomes for Indigenous Consumers

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The Federal Parliament has passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort) Bill 2023 to establish an industry-funded compensation scheme of last resort for victims of financial misconduct. Quotes attributable to Alan Kirkland, Chief Executive Officer of CHOICE: “The introduction of a compensation scheme of last resort is an historic moment…

Read More “Historic moment for consumer financial protection”: CHOICE on the passage of compensation scheme of last resort