Australian Bankers' Association Inc.

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Industry Standards

The ABA works with its members on the development of industry standards, guidelines and protocols in a range of areas relating to market conduct and performance. This self-regulatory approach has proven to be very effective, and has delivered substantial benefits to bank customers.

ABA's Code of Banking Practice

The Code of Banking Practice is the banking industry's customer charter on best banking practice standards. The Code sets out the banking industry's key commitments and obligations to customers on standards of practice, disclosure and principles of conduct for their banking services.

ePayments Code

The ePayments Code is a voluntary code which protects consumers when transferring funds electronically. 

This Code covers electronic funds transfers, including ATM and EFTPOS transactions, telephone and internet banking, debit card and credit card transactions (other than those intended to be authenticated by a manual signature), and some low value stored value products such as smart cards, pre-paid telephone cards and digital cash. 

The Code is administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. This code was known formerly as the Electronic Funds Transfer Code of Conduct but renamed the ePayments Code following a review completed in December 2010. The original code will apply until 19 March 2013 when the ePayments Code will commence.

ABA-ATO information request protocol

ABA-ATO information request protocol.

Arrangements between the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Banker’s Association (ABA) for the issuing of third party information notices on banks under section 264 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA)

ABA’s Guiding Principles for Accessible Authentication

ABA’s Guiding Principles for Accessible Authentication

Accessibility issues need to be considered in the deployment of authentication technologies, to ensure that people with disabilities and older people are not disadvantaged. 

Adoption of common standards by banks and other financial institutions in Australia will promote the confidence of customers using authentication technologies and improve the accessibility of retail banking and finance.

The Guiding Principles have been developed to:

  • Provide guidance to financial institutions adopting stronger authentication technologies as part of their banking services;
  • Ensure that all customers of financial institutions operating in Australia, including people with disabilities and older people, are able to access and manage their finances independently, securely and effectively;
  • Ensure that the access needs of people with disabilities and older people are considered in the deployment of authentication technologies; and
  • Ensure that financial institutions are able to provide the best possible service to all customers.

Choose a version to download:


If you have any problems in accessing these documents, please contact the Australian Bankers’ Association, freecall 1800 633 855, and we will provide you with an accessible version.

ABA's Indigenous Statement of Commitment

ABA’s Indigenous Statement of Commitment
The retail banking sector is supporting an industry Indigenous Statement of Commitment which outlines how banks may make a difference for Indigenous people and their communities. The ABA released this Statement of Commitment on May 27 2007, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum that acknowledged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Australian citizens, by including them in the national census of the Australian population. The Indigenous Statement of Commitment which outlines how retail banking industry may make a difference for Indigenous people and their communities. The ABA and its retail member banks recognise that many Indigenous Australians face significant social, economic and financial disadvantage.

ABA's Industry Standards on Accessibility of Electronic Banking

ABA's Industry Standards on Accessibility of Electronic Banking
The ABA has worked with the community to produce voluntary Industry Standards which aim to improve the accessibility of electronic banking. The Industry Standards are important steps in helping overcome the digital divide and will assist individual banks develop or enhance their electronic banking services for older Australians and people with disabilities. The ABA, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) and the Accessible E-Commerce Forum, worked with representatives from member banks, other financial institutions, community groups, suppliers and retailers to develop these Industry Standards

ABA's Transaction Services & Branch Closure Protocol

ABA's Transaction Services & Branch Closure Protocol
The Protocol has been adopted, committing the industry to providing rural and remote areas ongoing face-to-face banking services for personal and small business customers after branch closure. After a branch closes, banks are committing to maintain face-to-face services through an existing outlet, franchising arrangements with the community, agency arrangements with local businesses and Australia Post, and including in-store facilities.

Financial Abuse Guidelines

Industry guideline – Protecting vulnerable customers from potential financial abuse

As a framework to banks, this industry guideline explains what financial abuse can look like, how it can impact customers and the bank’s relationships with their customers, and how banks staffs can respond.

Industry guideline – Responding to requests from a power of attorney or court-appointed administrator

This industry guideline explains how these different arrangements work legally across Australia, how they are used by bank customers and their substitute decision-makers, and provides a framework for how banks should respond to these arrangements.

Personal Properties Securities

Personal Property Securities
Following commencement of the Personal Property Securities Register in January 2012, the opportunity has been taken by two industry associations, the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) and the Australian Finance Conference (AFC), to make available to the banking and finance industry and its advisors a set of industry model priority and release documents as a way of improving efficiency of operations and reducing costs. Please follow the link above to access the documents.

Promoting Understanding About Banks’ Hardship Programs

This industry guideline does not have legal force or prescribe binding obligations on individual banks. This industry guideline has been developed to provide guidance to banks on how to meet, and in some cases exceed, existing legal obligations and industry standards. The ABA encourages member banks to follow this industry guideline and incorporate the guidance into the development and implementation of their hardship programs.

This industry guideline: 

  • Explains how Commonwealth consumer protection laws, the Australian Government’s Hardship Principles and relevant provisions within the Code of Banking Practice apply to banks’ hardship programs;
  • Provides practical guidance on what banks could do to meet their obligations under these laws, principles and codes when dealing with customers who may be experiencing financial difficulty;
  • Outlines a framework for banks that balances the need for consistent, standardised access to financial hardship assistance with the need for flexibility when responding to customers’ unique personal and financial circumstances; and
  • Promotes best practice across the banking industry.

Sanctions: Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) Guidelines for the Financial Services Sector

Sanctions: Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) Guidelines for the Financial Services Sector
These guidelines are intended for Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) member banks. The guidelines are not legally binding. They aim to set out good industry practice for ABA members and their staff in relation to sanctions requirements.

Organisations that are not members of the ABA may have regard to these guidelines as industry good practice, particularly where their industry body has not issued specific guidelines to them on sanctions.
These guidelines will have impact on operational areas, but it is expected that more detailed internal policies and guidance will be developed, specifically tailored to suit the needs of member banks, using these guidelines as a guide to good practice

Information on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and Australian banks

Information on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and Australian banks
In March 2010, the U.S. enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which will impose significant reporting requirements on "Foreign Financial Institutions" (FFIs) from 1 January 2013. This legislation is a reaction to concerns that wealthy U.S. citizens are not disclosing funds held in "offshore" tax-haven accounts.


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

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