28 December 2017

Bankers Pledge Better Behavior

Published by Finews.asia – 28th Dec 2017

Australia’s banking lobby put forth new ethics rules and practices to the country’s regulator. The move follows a series of scandals at the big four banks. 

Australia’s big four banks were ensnared in several high-profile regulatory problems this year. Earlier this month, under fire lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) was hit with another 100 alleged violations of money laundering and counter-terrorism laws. The latest allegations increased the total number of alleged breaches by the bank to approximately 53,800, from 53,700.

Meanwhile, Sydney-based Westpac is fighting a high-profile court case over rigging the bank bill swap reference rate, or BBSW; ANZ and National Australia Bank (NAB) paid a collective A$100 million penalty for their involvement in the same BBSW scandal.

Simple Language

As a result, the Australian Bankers’ Association submitted a new code of practice to the country’s regulator for approval. Changes proposed include allowing clients to cancel credit cards online, restricting interest payments after an interest-free period to only what hasn’t already been paid, and including a minimum 30-day notice period for changes to small business loan terms.

The lobby’s chief executive Anna Bligh said the new code is customer-centered and will offer more transparency around products and services. «Banks are committed to change and the new code is stronger, broader and written in simple to understand language,» Bligh said in a statement.