The work of the Australian Bankers’ Association
The ABA addresses a large range of public policy issues to help build a regulatory environment that promotes growth in the banking industry and the wider economy. We work to ensure banking is affordable and accessible and enables customers to get the right products and services for their banking needs.
Current priority policy issues for the banking industry include:
- Culture in banking
The Australian Bankers' Association is working with banks on implementing reforms to address conduct and culture issues. These include enhanced protections for whistleblowers and potential changes to how banks pay their staff, to ensure that customer interests are put first in the selling of products and services, and that remuneration practices align with customer outcomes. More information is available at betterbanking.net.au.
- Development of industry codes and standards
Continuing development of the Code of Banking Practice and a number of other industry standards and guidelines which ensure best practice across the Australian banking industry. This includes issues such as access to electronic banking, security and authentication practices, access to financial hardship assistance, protection for customers from financial abuse, and promoting financial literacy for Indigenous customers.
- Prudential and financial system reform
Responding to the Federal Government’s Financial System Inquiry, international developments on bank capital, liquidity and other regulations, and working with Government and other stakeholders to ensure a safe, efficient and competitive banking and financial system.
- Dispute resolution
The ABA is working with Government to improve the external dispute resolution system so that if customers are not satisfied with their bank's response to a complaint, they can get a fair independent hearing and there is no confusion who to contact.
- Conduct and disclosure
Working with the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that changes to banking industry conduct and disclosure laws enhance the accessibility of banking and financial products and services, as well as promote consumer protection for banks’ retail and business customers. Specific policy areas include: streamlining disclosures, professionalising financial advice, modernising retail banking, simplifying customer identification and protecting customers’ personal and financial information.
Improving Australians’ access to affordable retail banking and support during difficult times, including free bank accounts (www.affordablebanking.info) and information about financial hardship assistance offered by banks (www.doingittough.info).
- Financial literacy
Improving Australians’ financial literacy through our program, Broadening Financial Understanding, aimed at helping all Australians make informed and confident decisions regarding their money today and into the future.
- Small business banking
Coordinating the banking industry’s response on issues related to small business, including providing resources to aid awareness and access to finance to help small businesses grow (www.financingyoursmallbusiness.com.au)
- Rural and regional banking
Coordinating the banking industry’s response on issues related to rural and regional Australia, including advocating for a nationally consistent approach to assist farmers in extreme financial hardship.
Working cooperatively with Government, the private sector, police and payment providers on ways to prevent fraud.
- Taxation reform
Supporting the goal of lower, simpler, fairer taxes to ensure Australia’s tax system enables the financial services industry to enhance its contribution to economic growth, employment and prosperity.