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Final Report

Independent Reviewer, Jan McClelland has delivered the Final Report of the Review of Banking Practice after extensive consultations with a range of interested parties, including lenders, consumer groups, financial counsellors, representatives of industry and welfare bodies and regulators. The recommendations contained in the Final Report take into account best banking practices internationally, as well as specific comments and suggestions made by industry and consumer representatives.

Among the key recommendations are, that the Code:

  • Include a clear commitment to “responsible lending”, including a commitment to carefully assess applications for credit that may result in financial hardship;
  • Encourage banks to take a more proactive approach in identifying and helping customers facing financial difficulties at the earliest possible opportunity;
  • Require the full disclosure of “exception fees” by the banks, and that they provide information to customers on how to avoid such fees, which normally apply for overdrawn accounts;
  • Formally recognise the role of financial counsellors in managing cases of financial hardship;
  • Include a new clause relating to Indigenous customers, including Indigenous cultural and community awareness training for staff operating in indigenous communities;
  • Clarify the roles of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee and the Financial Services Ombudsman in relation to Code compliance monitoring and dispute resolution respectively; and
  • Is readily accessible by consumers and written in language that is consumer friendly.

Ms McClelland thanked the many organisatons and individuals who contributed to the review. The exhaustive consultation process has allowed the industry as well as consumers and their representatives to make a wide range of suggestions on how the Code can be updated and improved for the benefit of not only customers but also the banking industry.

Please click on one of the following links to read the Final Report: