ACCC to authorise Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice 2022

The ACCC is scheduled in July to grant authorisation for the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice 2022 for 5 years.

The Code is a voluntary code that will apply to retail services provided by members of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA): mutual banks, credit unions and building societies.

The ACCC has already granted interim authorisation to enable COBA and its current and future members to make arrangements for finalisation and promotion of the 2022 Code.

The 2022 Code includes commitments to eliminate or rebate certain fees including:

  • rebate overdraft or interest fees for low or no fee transaction accounts for low-income customers;
  • lenders mortgage insurance to be charged at cost;
  • no fee for cancellation of direct debit facilities;
  • no late payment, default fees or interest for customers in financial difficulty while they are meeting any conditions of financial assistance;
  • no fee for making a complaint.

The provisions in the 2022 Code that are the subject of the ACCC’s authorisation also include commitments to:

  • dishonour credit card transactions that would result in a customer exceeding their credit limit by more than 10%;
  • not require customers experiencing financial difficulty to access their superannuation to meet their loan obligations;
  • restrict the circumstances under which the customer’s debt will be sold, particularly when the customer is experiencing financial difficulty or if the debt arose from violence or abuse;
  • not take enforcement actions against the customer (including small businesses) or guarantor in connection with the customer’s loan in certain circumstances; and
  • not include a general material adverse change default clause in small business loan contracts.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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