28 February 2020
The Australian Banking Association has today partnered with Illawarra Business Chamber to brief the local business community and stakeholders on the new Banking Code of Practice, the new Financing Your Small Business website and to hear firsthand from small businesses affected by the recent bushfires.
In force since July 1 last year, the new ASIC-approved Banking Code of Practice contains a big step up in protections for customers.
Under the new Banking Code of Practice, banks no longer:
- Offer unsolicited credit card limit increases
- Charge commissions on Lenders Mortgage Insurance
- Sell insurance with credit cards and personal loans at the point of sale.
Under the new Code banks must:
- Offer low-fee or no-fee accounts to low income customers
- Have a 3 day grace period on all guarantees to give guarantors enough time to make sure it’s the right option for them
- Actively promote low-fee or no-fee accounts to low income customers
- Provide reminders when introductory offers on credit cards end
- Provide simpler and fairer loan contracts for small business using plain English that avoids legal jargon
- Provide customers a list of direct debits and recurring payments to make it easier to switch banks.
Local businesses are the lifeblood of communities like the Illawarra, providing jobs and services across the community.ABA CEO Anna Bligh
As part of the visit to the Illawarra ABA CEO Anna Bligh met with local businesses affected by the recent bushfires. Anyone affected is encouraged to contact their bank to access support on offer. Contact details for each bank’s hardship team can be found at www.ausbanking.org.au/doingittough.
The ABA will also brief the business community on the new ‘financing your small business’ website designed as a ‘step by step’ guide on applying for finance.
CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said “Local businesses are the lifeblood of communities like the Illawarra, providing jobs and services across the community.
“Banks have listened to community concerns and released a new rule book for banks, the Banking Code of Practice, which is a major step up in protections for customers.
“Today is also an important opportunity to hear from local businesses directly who have been affected by the recent bushfires and reaffirm that the industry is ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the community as it rebuilds and recovers from this horrific summer,” she said.
Adam Zarth, Executive Director, Illawarra Business Chamber said “Access to finance and a strong relationship with the banking sector is integral to the success of our members. This is a great opportunity to discuss these matters and hear more about what banks are doing to make life easier for small to medium-sized businesses.”
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
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.