Code Review Update – September 16, 2016

Thank you to all concerned for the submissions that have been provided to the Review.  These have been most helpful in defining the issues and suggesting ways forward.  I have now heard from a mix of stakeholders including from consumer representatives, banks, regulators, and industry groups.

There are 25 submissions published on the Code Review website (four of them are duplicated on the CCMC website as they were single submissions directed to both Reviews). There are also a few submissions that I have received but not published, generally to protect the identity and private details of those named in the submissions. The high quality and range of the submissions and the mix of submitting organisations and individuals gives me some confidence that the important matters for the Code and for the CCMC have been picked up.

In addition to reading the submissions closely, my team and I have also been working our way through a large amount of background material (from government inquiries, past reviews and comparable local and overseas codes).

Code of Banking Practice

Issues raised with me have included:

  • Code purpose/audience
  • Code structure
  • Principles, key commitments
  • Provision of Credit
  • Security/valuations
  • Financial hardship/distress/default
  • Other banking services
  • Staff remuneration/training/culture
  • Code scope
  • Code language and accessibility
  • Financial inclusion
  • Loan contracts
  • Guarantors
  • Small business
  • Marketing and promotion of Code
  • Complaints and Breach reporting

The submissions also raised a number of issues that I will not be able to deal with fully.  First, there are a number of individual cases that have been put to me.  As I have advised the submitters, while I will be able to use the examples to inform the review, I am not in a position to re-open these matters or to form a view about whether the treatment of the matter by others was appropriate or not.

I have also received submissions that raise significant issues – including calling for a Royal Commission into the Banking Industry, changes to the law and the regulators, about the way in which independent organisations such as FOS and the ABA work and about how this Review should be conducted. While I will consider the issues raised as part of my analysis, and I may comment on some of them, these are matters that are outside my Terms of Reference and I will not be able to make recommendations for change.

CCMC Issues

Most stakeholders have made comment about the CCMC within their submission on the Banking Code itself.  The range of issues raised so far in relation to CCMC cover:

  • Time limitation
  • Sanctioning powers
  • Profile of CCMC, name change
  • Scope for CCMC to cover cl. 3 & 4
  • Relationship with EDR
  • Breach reporting

Next Steps

Over the next two weeks, I will accept final first round submissions, complete initial analysis of the submissions and publish an Issues Register to the website, which I hope will make it easier for stakeholders to understand the range of matters raised with me – and to provide feedback.

Phil Khoury
Independent Reviewer
banking.code.review@cameronralph.com.au