5 May 2016
Sydney, 5 May 2016: The banking industry supports making it easier and quicker for customers to resolve disputes with their bank, the Australian Bankers’ Association said today.
“The Federal Government’s announced review into external dispute resolution is important to ensure there are the right processes in place to handle disputes from individual and small business customers,” ABA Chief Executive Steven Münchenberg said.
“In the vast majority of cases, customers are happy with their dealings with their bank, but we recognise this is not always the case. When a customer is unhappy, they are entitled to be heard and to have clear processes for having their complaint dealt with, first by their bank, and if still not satisfied through external dispute resolution.”
Mr Münchenberg said that banks recognise there are opportunities to improve customer experiences when things go wrong.
“Banks want to help customers work through any disputes to avoid the need for external intervention.
“As part of new measures to protect customer interests, banks will ensure they have an independent customer advocate to offer guidance and support to customers to resolve complaints quickly,” he said.
“The banking industry will work with the review to look at increasing the monetary limit of claims that the Financial Ombudsman Service can assess and the amount of compensation it can award. We will be looking to ensure there is clarity for customers about which process is right for them, without adding complexity or bureaucracy to external dispute resolution processes.
“Banks will also continue to consult with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on its work to improve customer remediation programs. We support expanding these programs from personal advice to cover all types of financial advice and products,” he said.
For more information on new measures by banks to increase accountability and build trust in banks, visit the ABA website.
Contact: Stephanie Arena 0477 470 677 or Nic Frankham 0435 963 913
The ABA has called upon Federal and State Australian governments to work together to combat the ongoing problem of elder financial abuse.