The Australian Banking Association today announced it has commissioned an independent review of the Banking Code of Practice and the review is now calling for submissions.
The Review is being undertaken by Mike Callaghan ASM PSM, the current chair of the Commonwealth Grants Commission. Mr Callaghan has a long and distinguished career in leading roles in the government and finance sectors and has chaired independent reviews for the Australian Government covering retirement income, tax, insurance and economic regulation.
Anna Bligh, Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Banking Association, said she encourages participation in the review from individuals, businesses, consumer groups and other entities with an interest in the banking industry, which will all help to further enhance the strength and credibility of the Code.
“Since 1993, the Code has been the instrument for industry to set out standards that go over and above the law,” Ms Bligh said.
“The Code is a rule book for banks that sets out clear rights for customers. It is enforceable at law and used as the standard by which the Australian Financial Complaints Authority considers customer complaints against banks, so getting it right really matters.”
ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“More recent versions of the Code incorporate changes recommended by the Hayne Royal Commission and other initiatives of the industry. Importantly, it’s the first financial industry code to be approved by ASIC. This review presents an opportunity to further strengthen the Code.
“The ABA is pleased to appoint Mike Callaghan, who has substantial experience in government and economic roles, and we look forward to learning Mr Callaghan’s findings.
“I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in the outcome of the review to make their thoughts heard by making a submission to this independent review by 6 August 2021,” Anna Bligh said.
The independent review will accept submissions from all stakeholders, including consumer representatives, small business, farmers, governments, regulators and the general public.
Mike Callaghan said, “The focus of the review will be on ensuring that the Code meets consumer and community expectations and I look forward to consulting widely with all interested parties.”
“The focus of the review will be on ensuring that the Code meets consumer and community expectations”
Mike Callaghan ASM PSM
The Australian Banking Association facilitates an independent review of the Code at least every three years.
The review has published a consultation note which can be accessed at Bankingcodereview.com.au. Submissions are requested by 6 August.
The review is due to report its findings by the end of November 2021.Once the review is complete, the industry will have an opportunity to respond before the ABA considers making changes to the Code. The ABA will then seek ASIC’s approval of the updated Code.