Help for consumers wanting better banking

New publication spells out bank customers’ rights and responsibilities


Sydney, 7 May, 2013: The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) has published a new booklet to help consumers understand their rights when it comes to banking.

Steven Münchenberg, Chief Executive of the ABA, said: “Banking is a vital part of modern life and something we all want to be straightforward and to run smoothly. Banks have responsibilities to assist their customers, but it’s also important for bank customers to know their rights so they can get the most out of their banking products and services.”

“Customers have a wide range of rights, backed by laws and other codes, but it can be difficult at times to find the right information when you need it. To help, the banking industry has pulled together all the information into one place, in a new booklet called Smarter Banking: Know Your Banking Rights and Responsibilities.”

“The booklet also helps banks if customers are informed about their rights and responsibilities. The industry knows that informed consumers can make better choices about the wide range of financial products and services available and can be more confident when doing their banking.”

“The booklet also discusses some common sense precautions customers can take to conduct their banking safely, including when banking online. It provides some useful information about what banks are doing to protect their customers and tips on ways customers can protect their personal and financial information. And it also guides customers on what to do if they have a complaint about their bank.”

The new booklet is an important addition to the ABA’s financial literacy program.

We would like to thank the members of the ABA’s Community and Consumer Consultative Forum (CCCF) who were consulted in the preparation of the booklet. The CCCF members are: Australian Council of Social Service, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Consumer Action Law Centre, Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW), COTA Australia, Financial Counselling Australia, Financial Ombudsman Service, Good Shepherd Microfinance, National Information Centre on Retirement Investments, The Salvation Army and Reconciliation Australia.

Notes for editors

Smarter Banking: Know your Banking Rights and Responsibilities

The law entitles bank customers to certain rights and gives them certain responsibilities. Codes of practice extend protections beyond the laws. Examples of codes which banks voluntarily adopt which help protect customers include the Code of Banking Practice and the ePayments Code. The law and the codes protect customer interests and those of the businesses that customers deal with. This booklet explains customer rights and responsibilities in plain English.

The booklet also covers:

  • Customers’ rights and why it’s important to understand the terms and conditions in a contract;
  • Legislation which sets out rules regarding the relationship between customers and their bank;
  • Privacy protections and requirements;
  • Customers’ right be to offered credit responsibly;
  • Customers’ right to complain;
  • Customers’ right to accessible banking products and services (including prohibitions on discrimination based on disability or age);
  • Banks’ customer charters – like the Code of Banking Practice;
  • Customers’ responsibilities, such as identifying themselves to the bank, providing accurate and honest information, providing clear instructions and protecting their PIN and Internet banking passwords/logons;
  • Information on how to keep finances under control and maintain a healthy credit history; and
  • Where to go for more information.

The booklet can be accessed online at www.bankers.asn.au/know_your_banking_rights

If you would like to order a hardcopy of the booklet, please free call the ABA on 1800 009 180.

For further information: 

Heather Wellard, ABA PR, 

Phone: 02 8298 0411, Mobile: 0409 830 439   @austbankers

ENDS


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