Australian Bankers' Association Inc.

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Consumer Protection

This section of the Financial Literacy Info Centre outlines what actions banks take to protect their customers. It also highlights what actions customers should take to protect themselves. Also see the section on “Security and Fraud Prevention”.

Rights and Responsibilities

Your bank has made a number of obligations to you:

  • Your money is safe and secure
  • Your information will be maintained with confidentiality
  • You will receive changes to terms and conditions and fees and charges
  • You will receive information about banking services
  • You will receive a statement of account
  • You can utilise direct debits
  • You will have access to fair debt collection and complaints handling procedures

Banking and financial services regulation and voluntary codes of conduct are in place to protect consumers.

Bank customers should be aware of their rights and responsibilities when they are conducting bank transactions.

For more information, see Code of Banking Practice and Industry Standards and the ePayments Code.

Resolving a Dispute

If you’re not happy with a bank product or service, your first step is to contact your bank to tell them about your problem. If you don’t think the bank has resolved your problem to your satisfaction, then you can make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

Banks and Privacy

The ABA and its member banks believe that an individual's right to keep their personal information private is very important, and are committed to protecting and maintaining the privacy, accuracy and security of personal and financial information.  Every ABA member has a Privacy Policy, which generally can be found on their websites, or you can contact your bank and request a copy.

Code of Banking Practice
The Code is a voluntary code that sets out standards of disclosure and conduct which subscribing banks agree to observe when dealing with their customers. For a copy of the Code telephone us on freecall 1800 009 180 and we will send you a hard copy in the mail.

Unclaimed Balances

Don’t worry if you have forgotten about the existence of a bank account – banks keep account records so that the money can be tracked down and returned to you at any time.

Commonwealth Government legislation (Section 69 of the Banking Act 1959) governs unclaimed monies. Currently banks are required by law to transfer accounts with a balance of $500 or more that have not had a customer initiated deposit or withdrawal for the last seven years to Commonwealth Treasury.  The law states the transfer must occur. However, the bank will always try to make contact with you before they send your funds to Commonwealth Treasury.
Visit the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website to search their database for unclaimed funds.


ASIC has a website to help you make smart choices about money. For more information about managing your money, you can read this article or visit Money Smart.

MoneySmart website

Romance Scams

Australians are losing more money to dating and romance scams according to the ACCC's 2014 scam activity report. The banking industry is urging all customers to be wary of who they send money to online. Find out more