ABA issues guide to banking rights

by AB07 May 2013

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) has published a free booklet which it says aims to ‘help consumers understand their rights’ when it comes to banking.

ABA CEO, Steven Münchenberg, says banking is a ‘vital’ part of modern life and something people 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.”

Münchenberg  said customers have a wide range of rights, backed by laws and other codes, but that it can be difficult for customers to find the right information when they 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.”

He said the booklet, which will be available on the association’s website, will also help banks, because customers will be 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” Münchenberg said.

“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.”

According to Münchenberg Smarter Banking: Know Your Banking Rights and Responsibilities 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.