7 October 2016
Sydney, 6 October 2016: The Australian Bankers’ Association today acknowledged the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics’ Inquiry this week had provided a valuable forum for major banks to respond to issues of interest to the Committee and outline the progress already being made to address them.
Steven Münchenberg, Chief Executive of the ABA, said the banks involved had welcomed the opportunity to provide their perspectives on various industry issues, challenges and opportunities.
“As an industry, we know we haven’t always lived up to the expectations of all of our customers and the wider community. The banks are acknowledging those issues and more importantly they are addressing them,” he said.
“The Inquiry this week raised a wide range of important issues, many of which are already being addressed by the Federal Government or industry initiatives.
“There were also a number of ideas and proposals raised that merit further substantive consideration and the banks will be evaluating these at the next meeting of the ABA Council.
“That said, the banking industry is committed to taking action right now to deal with major issues and deliver better outcomes for customers,” he said.
Mr Münchenberg said the banking industry’s six point reform package launched in April 2016 included independent reviews into:
- Pay structures that put incentives for bank staff ahead of customer needs. The review is being conducted by former Australian Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick AO with a final report expected in March 2017.
- The Code of Banking Practice to lift standards of conduct and culture. The review is being conducted by former ASIC executive Phil Khoury who is due to report by December 2016.
The next progress report on the delivery of the industry’s reform package will be made by an independent expert, former Auditor-General Ian McPhee AO PSM, by 21 October 2016.
The banking industry’s six point reform package is running in parallel with separate Government reviews into:
- Finding faster and better ways for customers to get justice if they feel they are treated unfairly (the Ramsay Review, which reports in March 2017).
- The treatment of small business customers (the Carnell Review, which is due to report by the end of 2016).
Mr Münchenberg said the ABA and the banks intend to set out detailed responses to the matters raised by the Committee in the coming weeks, including responses to various questions on notice that were taken over the past three days, so that the Committee would be in a position to finalise its recommendations.
“We believe there is an opportunity to accelerate the timetable on a range of initiatives and we will be exploring this with our members and with the Committee, particularly on matters where there is general agreement on the need for action sooner rather than later.”
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