Codes of practice

ASIC has the power to approve codes of practice in the financial services sector and administers the ePayments Code.

What is a code of practice?

A code of practice is a set of enforceable rules setting out an industry’s commitments to deliver a certain standard of practice.

Codes of practice are intended to raise industry standards and complement legislative requirements, and aim to encourage consumer confidence in a particular industry.

A number of codes of practice have been developed in the financial services sector. An industry association is not required to seek ASIC approval of its code, but may choose to do so.

ASIC’s role in codes of practice

ASIC has the power to approve codes in the financial services sector. We have released Regulatory Guide 183 Approval of financial services sector codes of conduct (RG 183), which sets out how we will approve a code of practice.

An approved code of practice should meet a number of criteria, including:

  • a comprehensive body of rules developed in consultation with stakeholders
  • enforceability against subscribers to the code
  • adequate provisions for dispute resolution, remedies and sanctions
  • effective and independent administration – including compliance monitoring.

To date, no financial services sector codes of practice have been submitted to ASIC for approval.

The ePayments Code

Users of electronic payment facilities in Australia are protected by the ePayments Code. This code regulates consumer electronic payments, including ATM, EFTPOS and credit card transactions, online payments, internet and mobile banking, and BPAY.

ASIC is responsible for the administration of the ePayments Code. We monitor subscribers’ compliance with the code and review the code regularly.

Almost all banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia are subscribers to the ePayments Code. Other providers of consumer electronic payment facilities such as PayPal have also subscribed to the code.

Codes of practice developed by industry

ASIC has not approved codes of practice developed by the financial services industry under RG 183, and we do not oversee their administration. However, they are formal codes developed by the financial services industry and may be useful to consumers.

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Last updated: 29/10/2014 07:39