Code Review Update – February 20, 2017

Final Report Published

The completed Report of the Independent Review of the Code of Banking Practice is now available at the link below.  It is a lengthy report and for ease, I have also provided a link to the Executive Summary.

I have also published my report of the Independent Review of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee – it is available at http://ccmcreview.crkhoury.com.au .

I would be happy to receive feedback – by email please.  If there is interest from stakeholder groups, I may be able to arrange an opportunity – most likely a teleconference – to discuss the report.

Links:

Executive Summary – Report of the Independent Review of the Code of Banking Practice 2017

Report of the Independent Review of the Code of Banking Practice 2017

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

Code Review Update – January 31, 2017

Final Report

I have completed my Review and provided the final report to the Australian Bankers’ Association. It is a lengthy report – over 200 pages – and I expect to be able to publish it on this website by mid-February.

My apologies once again for not meeting the original deadline, and I thank you your patience.  My thanks to my colleagues for their months of hard work and late nights.  To all those who made submissions, took time out to meet with me, gave of their knowledge and expertise, answered questions, checked facts, pointed out errors, made suggestions – my great appreciation.

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

Code Review Update – December 12, 2016

Extension of time needed

Despite best efforts and an enormous amount of work by all concerned, I am not going to be able to meet the original target date for the Review of December 31, 2016.

The wide range of matters raised with me, the complexity of the issues and the level of detail required to adequately deal with them have proved to be greater than originally estimated – both for the Reviews of the Code itself and of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee.

The full text of both the Code and CCMC Reports will not now be handed to the Australian Bankers Association and the CCMC, until the end of January, 2017.

My apologies for any disappointment, in particular to those who have worked very hard to support the Reviews through providing submissions, attending meetings and interviews and answering the seemingly endless list of questions.  This includes the ABA and the banking industry, the staff of the CCMC, consumer advocates, representatives of small business and other stakeholder groups, staff from government agencies and many, many individuals.

I am sure that everyone interested will agree that it is more important that these Reviews be completed to a thorough standard.

In making the decision, I have consulted with the Independent Governance Expert Mr Ian McPhee AO PSM, who has been supportive throughout the Review process.

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

Code Review Update – November 14, 2016

Over October and early November, I have been continuing detailed consultations with stakeholders and analysis of the issues arising from the Code Review.  Consultations have included with consumer representatives, government officials, individual banks, banking industry representatives, individual bank customers and ombudsman staff.

I still have some way to go with consultations, including further discussions with individual bank customers (see Having a Say below), politicians, regulators and community organisations.

With some 124 individual recommendations received for change (see the complete Issues Register), analysis of the issues is taking some time, however we are now building up a better picture of the key issues.  To make the work manageable, I have divided the issues register into 12 key areas – including 1 for the issues related specifically to the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee.  See section under the link Issues for a summary of the matters under consideration in each area.

Interested stakeholders are welcome to continue to offer input to these issues, however I am not seeking any further formal submissions to the Review.  A brief email targeting specific issues would be the most assistance at this stage.

At this stage, the Review timeline is very tight, and we have a number of quite complex issues to work through – but I am continuing to press ahead to meet the promised deadline of December 31.

Having a say on the Review of the Code of Banking Practice

As Independent Reviewer, I have had the benefit of written submissions from a number of individual bank customers and conversations with some of them – which have been most useful.  I would like to extend this and I am particularly interested to hear from customers who have ideas about how the level of trust between banks and their customers could be improved.  Please note that I am unable to re-open or re-consider an individual matter or complaint, however I can take your experience into account in forming my views.

If you would be interested in participating in a telephone group discussion of around an hour and a half, and would be available at 10:30am on Friday 2nd of December – please register your interest by emailing to banking.code.review@cameronralph.com.au .

Please quote ‘teleconference’ in the subject line of your email and include your contact details (name and location, telephone number and/or preferred email address).  As places are limited, please include a few words about what you would like to contribute to the discussion.  Your details and any comments you make will be kept confidential to me as the Independent Reviewer and my staff.

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

Code Review Update – October 4, 2016

As my analysis, research and consultations continue, I will be progressively listing issues that have emerged on this website.  Please now find posted on the Issues page of this website a summary issues register as at early October.

This includes the main issues that I have drawn from the submissions and other inputs and from our analysis.  It is described as ‘progressive’ as my team and I are still working through the extensive list of issues raised.

Note that as previously advised, the list will not be exhaustive, as some issues are out of scope for this review, some have not yet been researched or tested.  Nor does the short form of the summary allow for every aspect of every issue to be listed. That said, if I have missed something of substance, please let me know – by email please.

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

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