The Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) today released a report into how banks provide inclusive and accessible banking services and support customers experiencing vulnerability.
The full report can be found here.
The BCCC’s Inquiry found that:
- banks have invested significant resources to support customers experiencing vulnerability and to deliver more inclusive and accessible services
- the level of progress across industry is inconsistent, and
- further work is needed to improve outcomes for customers and to monitor compliance with the Banking Code of Practice (the Code) obligations.
Independent Chair, Ian Govey AM, said the BCCC is encouraged by the actions banks have undertaken in recent years to enhance access to their services and to support customers who need extra care.
‘Banks are well placed to identify customers at risk of poor outcomes and ensure staff deliver fair outcomes. They need to make sure they build on the work to date to ensure any gaps are addressed,’ Mr Govey said.
The BCCC’s report contains 29 recommendations for improved industry practice that will help inform banks’ strategies to deliver better outcomes for all customers. The BCCC’s recommendations are supported by examples of both good and poor practices.
“We expect all banks, both individually and collectively, to take an active role in improving industry practice,” Mr Govey said.
In 2020, the BCCC commenced an inquiry into banks’ compliance with Part 4 of the Code. Part 4 of the Code contains key obligations that ensure all people, irrespective of their characteristics or circumstances, experience fair outcomes from their bank. The Inquiry commenced after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and in this environment, it is vital that banks uphold their commitments under Part 4 of the Code.
The BCCC will follow up in 2022 to monitor banks’ progress to improve practices in this area.
Chief Executive Officer
Banking Code Compliance Committee
Further information about the Banking Code Compliance Committee is available on its website – bankingcode.org.au.