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Customer-owned banks urged to continue to improve reporting practices

Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee 2 mins read

7 May 2024

A rise in reported breaches of the industry Code of Practice indicates better reporting from customer-owned banking institutions but also a sign of the need for improvements in reporting and remediation.

The Annual Data Report from the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee (COBCCC), which covers the 2022-23 reporting period and was published today, shows that the number of customer owned banking institutions reporting zero breaches dropped from 13 in the previous reporting period to four in this one.

Chair of the COBCCC, Ms Jocelyn Furlan, welcomed this result, noting that the decline shows reporting practices have improved.

"Seeing a drop in customer owned banking institutions reporting zero breaches tells us that more effort is being put into identifying and reporting breaches of the Code,” Ms Furlan said.

“We had seen too many reporting zero breaches in recent years, which indicated an issue with reporting practices. This appears to be improving.

“Identifying and reporting breaches offers an opportunity to review, assess, and improve. This, ultimately, leads to a better customer experience."

While reflecting important progress, the significant number of breaches reported in the 2022-23 reporting period shows that customer owned banking institutions must do more to improve compliance with the Code.

The Annual Data Report shows that there were 4,624 breaches of the Code, with breaches of obligations related to financial well-being increasing by 246%.

Ms Furlan expressed concern about the effect of some of these breaches.

"More breaches of obligations regarding financial well-being and vulnerable people is troubling amid our cost-of-living pressures,” Ms Furlan said.

“People are struggling at the moment and, to not exacerbate difficulties, we need our customer-owned banking institutions to meet their obligations in the Code, particularly regarding customers experiencing vulnerability.

“We expect to see improvements in the coming year."

The Annual Data Report also highlighted concerns held by the COBCCC with quality of the information reported by customer owned banking institutions.

"Meaningful change and improvement begins with accurately identifying and recording issues and providing detailed reporting,” Ms Furlan noted.

“We have seen too many customer owned banking institutions fail to provide useful details in breach reporting, which makes it hard to identify the underlying problems and implement solutions.

“This is an area we will monitor closely in the coming reporting period, with an expectation that customer owned banking institutions will respond to our call for better quality reporting," Ms Furlan said.

Read the full Annual Data Report


About us:

We are an independent body responsible for monitoring compliance with the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice.  

The customer owned banking institutions that subscribe to the Code agree to comply with its provisions when dealing with current and prospective customers.  

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