Reporting a reduction in breaches, the Banking Code Compliance Committee (BCCC) has urged banks to continue improving systems and pursuing better outcomes for customers in its latest report into compliance with the Banking Code of Practice (the Code).
The report, which looks at the compliance from banks in the period of January 2022 to June 2022, found a 38% reduction in breaches of the Code.
Fourteen of the 18 banks subscribed to the Code reported decreases in breaches, including all four major banks.
Chair of the BCCC Ian Govey AM welcomed the result.
“Fewer breaches is always a positive result. We are pleased that the efforts to improve are bearing fruit,” Mr Govey said.
Mr Govey also noted that there were several factors involved in the reduction of breaches, with more accurate reporting accounting for a large portion.
“We saw better reporting in this period, with breaches recorded more accurately. This reflects better reporting practices in banks and better awareness of Code obligations. Banks also reported that they are looking more closely at incidents to determine root causes and resolve underlying issues.
“Regulatory changes also had an effect – we saw improved systems and processes in many banks to manage changes to the ways they had to record and report complaints.”
The report shows that despite the decrease in breaches, there was a rise in the financial impact of the breaches in the six-month period reported to the BCCC.
The overall financial impact of breaches increased to $72.5 million in the first half of 2022, up from $69.4 million in the preceding period.
However, significantly fewer customers were affected in this period.
“We recognise a 4.5% rise in the financial impact, but are encouraged by the fewer customers affected,” Mr Govey said.
Although the report points to positive developments, the BCCC was eager to emphasise the need for banks to remain vigilant, continue improving, and pursue better outcomes for customers.
“This result is for one reporting period, and we want to see a trend with these positive developments,” Mr Govey said.
“Meaningful improvements are ones that produce sustained reductions in breaches over time and, ultimately, better outcomes for customers.
“In welcoming the findings in this report, we look forward to the results of the next six-month period.”
The BCCC’s report: Compliance with the Banking Code of Practice January – June 2022 is available on the BCCC’s website under Resources and Publications > Reports.
Further information about the Banking Code Compliance Committee is available on its website – bankingcode.org.au.