The Australian Banking Association’s membership is comprised of 20 banks from across Australia. ABA member banks are some of Australia’s most recognisable and historic brands. They include the four major banks, iconic regional banks and international banks with an Australian banking licence.
The Australian Banking Association advocates for a strong, competitive and innovative banking industry that delivers excellent and equitable outcomes for customers.
We promote and encourage policies that improve banking services for all Australians, through advocacy, research, policy expertise and thought leadership.
About the ABA
The ABA is an association of 20 member banks in Australia. The ABA works with government, regulators and other stakeholders to improve public awareness and understanding of the industry’s contribution to the economy and to ensure Australia’s banking customers continue to benefit from a stable, competitive and accessible banking industry.
The ABA is led by Anna Bligh, Chief Executive Officer, who is supported by a team of senior public policy staff. Anna started in the role in April 2017 and is focused on strengthening trust and confidence in banking and delivering better outcomes for customers.
The ABA is governed by a Council which comprises Chief Executive Officers of member banks. Read more.
The ABA Constitution is available here.
What we do
The ABA addresses a large range of public policy issues to help build a regulatory environment that promotes growth in the banking industry and the wider economy. We work to ensure banking is affordable and accessible and enables customers to get the right products and services for their banking needs.
The ABA ensures the banking industry’s views are put forward when governments determine policy or legislation. Many areas of Commonwealth and State law and in some cases international law, impact upon the interests of Australian banks.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) all regulate banks.
Many areas of law, for example taxation or financial sector reform, affect the trading environment for Australian banks and the ABA consults its members to form industry positions on these and many other issues.
The Australian Banking Association traces its history back to the late 1940s when a national organisation was formed to oppose a Government proposal to nationalise the banking system. Since then, it has taken on many roles and responsibilities on behalf of its membership, but the modern organisation reflects major restructures that occurred in 1985 and 1997.
In the mid-1980s it was decided that the ABA’s role was too limited and that it would be broadened in favour of having a fully representative organisation of all licensed banks in Australia. Three existing organisations were merged to form the new association. Those organisations were the Australian Banking Association-Research Directorate, the Australian Banking Association and a Banking Education Service. Subsequently, the Banks’ Industrial Association was also integrated into the ABA.
A new constitution was drafted in 1985, and in 1997 there were further changes to the mission of the ABA to focus the association on its principal benefits to members, that is, an advocate for the banking industry when dealing with Governments, the media and public.
In 2014, the ABA underwent a process of review and renewal to ensure the banking industry is recognised widely as an essential and responsible contributor to Australia’s prosperity.
ABA Annual Report 2023
Australia has seen solid growth this year, particularly supported by a strong labor market. However, the outlook for the period ahead is more challenged. In particular, continued high inflation and in response, the blunt tool of interest rate rises are slowing the economy down and causing stress for some customers.
In times like these, a strong and stable banking sector is even more important and this year, the entire sector has been focused on helping our customers through the worst of the economic challenges.
- ABA Chair, Peter King
ABA Ltd Annual Report 2023Download report
Previous annual reports:
Annual Report 2022
“For many Australians, 2022 has been a challenging year. We’ve experienced catastrophic floods, the global pandemic, and more recently the hip-pocket impact of high inflation.”
Annual Report 2021
“More than 65,000 individuals and businesses received hardship assistance in 2021.”
Annual Report 2020
“2020 is a year none of us will ever forget. It began under a haze of smoke, and ended in the grip of a global pandemic.”