Financial abuse prevention
17 October 2022
The Australian Banking Association has today welcomed the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-32, which aims to stop the cycle of gender-based violence within a generation.
The National Plan announced today by all Australian governments, recognises the significance of financial abuse and the proactive role industries like banks are playing in identifying and assisting victim-survivors of financial abuse.
“Family and domestic violence is a whole of community issue and requires collective efforts of government, communities and the business community, including banks to respond to the challenges. Today’s announcement is a critical step towards ending the cycle of domestic violence against women and children,” ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said.
“Banks are in a unique position to play a proactive role in identifying and assisting victim-survivors of financial abuse, a role Australian banks take very seriously”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“The national plan recognises that industries, like banking are leading the way by changing their business practices and the way staff respond to family, domestic and sexual violence.
“Banks are in a unique position to play a proactive role in identifying and assisting victim-survivors of financial abuse, a role Australian banks take very seriously,” Ms Bligh said.
The ABA and member banks have been responding to financial abuse over many years and continually review their approach to ensure it reflects emerging issues, changing community expectations, and legal and regulatory changes.
Work undertaken by banks to support customers experiencing financial abuse includes:
- Implementing preventative measures which block abusive transactions in banking applications and internet banking.
- Working with Government and regulators to minimise the harm to victim-survivors by suppressing credit reporting information. This aims to reduce the risk of further financial abuse.
- Partnering with community organisations to address the long-term impacts of domestic and family violence and financial abuse on the community.
- Updated industry guidelines for banks to reduce the risks of financial abuse and support victims-survivors of domestic violence.
“The banking industry looks forward to working with Government to progress the reforms outlined in the plan. Anyone experiencing financial abuse should speak to their bank. They are ready to help,” Ms Bligh said.
Australian banks today launched a new digital platform that will facilitate the quick reporting of fraudulent payments en route or transferred to another bank.
“Speed is the essence when it comes to getting your money back from a scammer. Even if you’re not sure, even if you just suspect something’s not right, ring your bank as fast as you possibly can.”
The nation’s shift to digital banking is gathering pace, with the number of people leaving home without their wallet or cards, relying on their phone or another device instead, doubling in three years. The rapid changes are captured in a new ABA interactive Spend the Day site.