Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has questioned the ABA’s Banking Code of Practice, saying the announcement leaves unresolved issues.
Yesterday InvestorDaily reported that the Australian Bankers Association has submitted a new ethical code for approval by ASIC.
ABA chief executive Anna Bligh said the new code was “customer focused” and will offer more transparency around products and services.
However, in a statement Ms Carnell said she was concerned the code cannot be properly enforced.
“The committee will not be fully independent and banks won’t be obliged to accept its recommendations,” she said.
“The code stipulates only that banks will comply with ‘reasonable’ requests of the committee. This means effectively that banks will only act on recommendations if they feel like it. If they don’t think the committee is reasonable they have an escape clause.
“It’s like the umpire is appointed by the home team and they don’t have to accept the umpire’s decision.”
At the same time Ms Carnell welcomed the code’s “simplified language” and specific focus on small businesses.
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