The financial services industry marks an important milestone today as the new Banking Code of Practice takes effect.
For those of you who may not be across the updates, we’ve broken down everything you need to know.
What is the Banking Code of Practice?
The Code is a set of enforceable standards that customers, small businesses and their guarantors can expect from Australian banks.
The new Code is the strongest ever, and has been re-written to better meet community expectations. It is clearer, easier to understand, and offers greater protections for bank customers. It’s also the first Code to be approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), enabling stronger compliance oversight and enforcement. The Code is binding on subscribers and is used by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) as a benchmark across the banking industry.
What does the new Code mean for you?
As a customer, you can expect:
- New requirements that banks must abide by that make it easier for you to keep track of transaction fees, manage your credit card(s) and/or switch banks;
- More comprehensive protections for customers experiencing vulnerability;
- Access to a range of affordable banking products, including basic, low or no fee bank accounts;
- Stronger protections for guarantors to ensure they understand their obligations, including a cooling-off period and notification of changes to the borrower’s circumstances; and
- Simpler banking processes for small business customers, including simplified loan contracts, longer notice periods, improved communication and greater transparency.
Easier to navigate
The Code now has 10 clear sections, all of which are written in clear and simple language to help customers understand their rights and obligations:
- How the Code works
- Your banking relationship
- Opening an account and using our banking services
- Inclusive and accessible banking
- When you apply for a loan
- Lending to small business
- Guaranteeing a loan
- Managing your account
- When things go wrong
- Resolving your complaint
Should you have any questions, head into your local BOQ branch and speak to a friendly member of the team today!