The Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee (the Committee) is pleased to release its Annual Report 2018-19. A copy of the Report can be downloaded here.

The Annual Report demonstrates how subscribers to the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice (the Code) have met their compliance obligations, managed Code breaches and responded to customer complaints throughout the year. It provides an overview of the Committee’s work during the year.

This year’s Annual Report shows that subscribers need to do better when it comes to meeting the Code’s obligations around customer service delivery. A snapshot of the key findings reveals that:

  • Customer service delivery was the area where most Code breaches were reported, accounting for almost one-third of all self-reported breaches.
  • A rise in the number of customers reported by subscribers as affected by Code breaches – almost 287,000 customers were reported as being directly affected by breaches, resulting in a financial impact to customers of almost $5 million.
  • Customer complaints reported increased 24% on the previous year, with subscribers advising the Committee that they received 26,899 complaints in total. Of these, 92% were resolved within 21 days.
  • Failure to follow process and procedures was the top reason given for Code breaches, being cited as the cause of 717 breaches in total. It was also the number one reason for customer owned banking institutions breaching their key Code promise to deliver high customer service and standards.

Commenting on the Annual Report’s findings, the Committee’s Chair, Ms Jocelyn Furlan, said: “This has been a year dominated by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. While the customer owned banking sector was not cited for any misconduct by the Royal Commission, the findings in our Annual Report demonstrate the need for Code subscribers to focus more sharply on complying with their Code obligations and demonstrating that customers’ interests are paramount in customer owned banking institutions’ practices and culture.”

“Customer owned banking institutions pride themselves on delivering high-quality customer service,” Ms Furlan noted. “To continue to enjoy the good reputation they have within the community, Code subscribers must strive for better Code compliance and improved outcomes for customers.”

“The Committee encourages subscribers to examine the learnings and recommendations in this year’s Annual Report, particularly if their organisation reported a high number of customer service-related breaches due to failure to follow process and procedures. Activities such as reviewing staff training, procedural documentation and quality assurance monitoring will help ensure compliance with the Code and provide high-quality services to customers,” Ms Furlan said.