8 August 2016
Sydney, 8 August 2016: The Australian Bankers’ Association has today welcomed the release of the terms of reference of the Federal Government’s review into external dispute resolution.
“The handling of customer complaints is a major factor in people’s trust in their financial institution,” the ABA’s Executive Director – Retail Policy, Diane Tate, said.
“Banks want to help customers work through any problems to avoid the need for external dispute resolution, however, in some instances it is necessary.
“It’s important to make sure that external dispute resolution works well. Customers need to know how and where to get a complaint or dispute resolved,” she said.
“The ABA supports broadening external dispute resolution schemes so more people have access to them if needed. This includes considering increasing the monetary limit on the claims that the Financial Ombudsman Service can assess and on the amount of compensation it can award.
“The ABA looks forward to working with the Government on this review to help ensure people have easier and greater access to get a problem resolved,” Ms Tate said.
“Banks are also taking steps to improve complaints handling processes. Banks will appoint dedicated customer advocates to offer support and give customers a greater voice when things go wrong.
“Banks are also making sure that if a dedicated program is needed to deal with a more difficult problem, these remediation programs operate effectively,” she said.
“This is part of a range of measures recently announced by the banking industry to enhance customer protections, increase transparency and accountability and build trust and confidence in banks.”
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“…banks can go back to their normal processes and that is working out what’s right for every single customer, on an individual tailored basis with a proper assessment. That is the best thing for the customer.”
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.