The Code of Banking Practice is the banking industry's customer charter on good banking service. Virtually all banks providing services to retail customers subscribe to the Code.
The original Code of Banking Practice was released in 1993. The Code is reviewed every five years. The last review of the Code concluded in January 2013.
The newly revised Code will take effect for existing Code Subscribers on 1 February 2014.The existing Code remains in effect until this time, and both versions of the Code are available on the Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) website.
disclosure of fees and charges and other terms and conditions
changes to terms and conditions and fees and charges
disclosure of general information about banking services
privacy and confidentiality
statements of account
copies of documents
chargebacks on credit cards
The Code also gives loan guarantors important disclosure and other rights. In addition, there is a general commitment to act fairly and reasonably towards customers and guarantors in a consistent and ethical manner.
It applies to individuals and small business customers of subscribing banks, and to guarantors.
A bank only becomes bound by the Code when it announces publicly that it has adopted the Code. For up-to-date information on whether your bank has adopted the Code, contact the ABA. The ABA maintains and publishes a list of banks that have adopted versions of the Code on their website. You can also ask your bank about their subscription.
If you have a complaint that your bank has breached the Code you should first discuss the matter with your bank using their internal complaint handling service. If your complaint is not resolved by the internal complaint handling service, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) may be able to help. You can contact FOS on 1300 780 808.
You can also complain to the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee (CCMC) – an independent panel set up to investigate possible breaches of the Code. You don’t have to show you have suffered a loss to complain to CCMC. You can contact them on 1300 780 808.
If you believe the breach of the Code is serious and/or may involve many bank customers apart from yourself, you may wish to make a complaint to ASIC.