Concerns are an important source of information about potential Code breaches and they help us monitor compliance with obligations in the Banking Code of Practice (the Code).

If you believe a bank has failed to meet an obligation in the Code, you can raise your concern to us.

Your concerns are valuable to us because they help us to:

  • monitor and ensure banks comply with the Code
  • identify current and emerging problems in the industry
  • understand behaviours and processes that cause difficulty for customers
  • provide guidance to banks to help them improve their practices.

Important information to help you raise your concern

What we do

Our role is to monitor compliance with the Code. We do not resolve individual complaints with banks.

If you seek mediation, a resolution or compensation for your concern, report it directly to your bank. If your concern remains unresolved through the bank’s dispute resolution processes, you can lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), which offers free and independent dispute resolution services for complaints about financial institutions.

Banks that subscribe to the Code

We can only consider a concern about a bank that subscribes to the Code. See the Australian Banking Association’s list of banks subscribed to the Code.

What we can consider

We can only consider concerns that relate to a bank’s obligations in the Code.

The Code covers banking services provided within Australia to individual customers, small business customers, and their guarantors.

It sets out a bank’s commitments when providing banking services, covering important areas such as:

  • access to banking services
  • communication with customers
  • dispute resolution
  • debt collection
  • financial difficulty
  • guarantees.

Our Quick Reference Guide to the Code provides an overview of a bank’s obligations.

What we cannot consider

We cannot consider a concern if:

  • it is not directly related to a bank’s compliance with the Code
  • it has been, or is, being investigated by another forum, such as a court or the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
  • the individual became aware of the issue more than two years ago
  • it is based on the same events as a concern previously reported with us.

Read more about exclusions in our Charter (paragraph 5.3).

How to raise your concern

To raise a concern, use our online form.

Provide as much information as possible, and any supporting documents.

You can raise a concern anonymously but this may limit our ability to gather the information we need to properly assess the concern.

If you need help with raising your concern, please email [email protected] or call 1800 931 678 and ask to speak with the Code team.

To speak with us in a language other than English, please call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Give the service our contact number, 1800 931 678, and ask to speak with the Code team.

What happens after we receive your concern

We carefully consider all concerns to decide on the most appropriate response.

We do not investigate every concern. We investigate concerns about matters that we consider to be serious or systemic.

In deciding how to respond to a concern, we consider a number of factors, set out in our Priority Monitoring Framework.

If we do not investigate, we will inform you and let you know about other options. If necessary, and with your consent, we may also refer your concern to the bank, AFCA, or another relevant government agency.

We have provided a list of other places to get help which may help you with your concern.

Possible outcomes

If we conduct an investigation and find a breach of the Code, we can make recommendations and apply sanctions, such as:

  • a formal warning
  • naming the bank on our website or in our annual report
  • requiring the bank to rectify or take corrective action on the breach
  • requiring the bank to undertake a compliance review
  • requiring the bank to provide a staff training program on the Code
  • referring serious or systemic ongoing breaches to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

If we do not investigate, we may use a concern:

  • as part of an inquiry into bank practices
  • for an anonymous case study in a publication
  • in a future investigation
  • to inform priority areas and compliance monitoring activities.