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Current banking code doesn't work: Wilkie

Posted by on in Fraudulent Loan Apps
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INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie believes the voluntary code of conduct used by the banking sector is a "toothless device" and must be changed to support consumers and small business.

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The Tasmanian MP says that since 2004 there have been 2.5 million complaints made against Australian banks but under the current code only 200 have been investigated.

"There is clear evidence the current voluntary code of practice, which has been set up by the banks, run by the banks, overseen by the banks, frankly, it just doesn't work," Mr Wilkie told reporters in Canberra.

He will introduce a private members bill into parliament to establish a mandatory banking code of conduct and give the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) additional powers to "name and shame" banks that don't follow the code.

It would also be able to fine banks that are repeat offenders.

Mr Wilkie said the new code would be determined by the relevant minister in consultation with the banks and consumers groups with the current code as its basis.

He said his actions were in response to approaches from small business that have found themselves in dispute with the banks.

The banking industry rejected Mr Wilkie's claims that the current code was "toothless", saying it works well for banks' customers, including small businesses.

Australian Bankers' Association chief executive Steven Munchenberg said the code was a contract between customers and subscribing banks, which means courts can review compliance with the code.

"Banks' small-business customers and individual customers have a number of avenues they can take a complaint if they believe that a bank has breached the code of banking practice," Mr Munchenberg said in a statement.

These include the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

"APRA is a prudential regulator and has no role in looking at these types of issues," he said.

"We need to be wary of just adding additional layers of regulation that make it more risky and expensive to lend to small businesses."

 

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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 21 August 2012

    Great post. Thank goodness some politicians are speaking up. Typical response from the banks.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 21 August 2012

    thanks Mr Wilkie for speaking up.. and agree with Bepa, typical response from banks.."courts can review compliance with the code."..
    How can the "battler" afford to take the banks to court?

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 21 August 2012

    STM, another good find.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 21 August 2012

    2.5 million complaints - and they're only the ones that went through the orthodox channels...
    The rest of the population consoled themselves with complaining to each other about the b banks!
    Surely, Mr Munchenberg, prevention is better than extended drama, court, losses, lost productivity at work and lost time with family, completing forms and attending to negotiation when the entire problem could have been avoided if the banks had been committed to their own Code!
    I think a short spell in a regulated Code framework might remind the banks what "going straight" means.
    Rather that than learning about it after a taste of life at Her Majesty's pleasure...
    I'm sure Mr Munchenberg, you'll find a way to convince the banks to comply.
    Admittedly you've left the run a bit late ... they've had the Code since 1993...
    The clock is ticking. I almost feel sorry for you.
    Getting the banks to behave must seem like herding chooks...

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Tuesday, 21 August 2012

    The stats are mind boggling: 2.5 million complaints and only 200 investigated (and know idea if the investigation went past a simple look!). This is 2.400.800 complaints that were kicked into the rubbish bin.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 22 August 2012

    We have emailed Senator Wilkie to thank him. We need more politicians who campaign for truth in politics.

    From: ARREE
    Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:07 AM
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: the voluntary code of conduct used by the banking sector is a "toothless device"


    Dear Mr Wilkie,

    Just a brief note to express our appreciation of your comments regarding the banking sector’s code of conduct. We are members of the Banking and Finance Consumers Support Association headed up by Denise Brailey. In fact we drove to Canberra and sat in the back of the recent Senate Committee hearing to show support to Denise.

    I have just read your comments to reporters in Canberra in a blog posted on the BFCSA website for all members and the general public to read.

    http://www.bfcsa.com.au/index.php/easyblog

    You summed up how my husband and I feel perfectly. We are a middle aged couple who in 2007 had a small mortgage and $550K in equity..
    Today we owe RAMS over $1,000,000 and have NO EQUITY. Our broker tells us he has destroyed all our files as he no longer is in the business. We have proof (a wet ink copy of our LAF) showing false information, fudged figures were added AFTER our signatures. My husband is a self employed carpenter.

    Thank you so much Mr Wilkie. We need more politicians like you who campaigns for truth in politics.

    Regards,
    ARREE

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 22 August 2012

    Well done, Arree! Tell politicians clearly what you like and what you want to see more of. It does work :D

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