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Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice

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The Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice is the code of practice for Australia’s credit unions, mutual banks and mutual building societies. The Code has been developed in close consultation with the community, government, consumer groups and our members.

Credit Unions, Mutual Banks and Mutual Building Societies are owned by our Members — this is what being a Mutual Bank means. As such, we are focused on Member-benefits, community involvement, fairer fees and customer service.

As a bank we already comply with a range of regulatory requirements including:

  • Responsible financial management requirements (under the Banking Act 1959 and our regulation by the APRA)
  • Corporate and financial services’ licensing, advice and training, and disclosure regulation (under the Corporations Act 2001 and our regulation by ASIC)
  • Consumer credit laws
  • Privacy, fair trading and other Commonwealth, State and Territory legislation.

This Code establishes higher standards than the law requires in a range of areas, and addresses issues not addressed by the law. In adopting this Code, we agree to abide by the higher standards and additional requirements set out in the Code.

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Our 10 Key Promises to you

  • We will be fair and ethical in our dealings with you We will always act honestly and with integrity, and will treat you fairly and reasonably in all our dealings with you.
  • We will focus on our members We will place a high priority on service, competitiveness and member focus. We will provide friendly and reliable service to our members and customers.
  • We will give you clear information about our products and services We will provide clear and accessible information about our products and services, so you can make an informed decision about the product you want. We will disclose interest rates, fees and charges in an accessible and clear format and provide you with regular account statements. We will give you information on how to minimise fees and charges. Our advertising and promotional material will not be misleading.
  • We will be responsible lenders We will lend responsibly, and will try to assist you if you find yourself in financial difficulties.
  • We will deliver high customer service and standards We will issue and distribute products and provide services that are useful, reliable and of value to our members and customers. We will make sure our staff and agents or representatives are well trained. We will promote secure and reliable banking and financial services, and keep you up to date on any changes to the products and services we provide to you. We will treat your personal information as private and confidential.
  • We will deal fairly with any complaints We will handle complaints promptly and fairly and provide you with information on avenues for resolving disputes if we are not able to reach agreement with you.
  • We will recognise member rights as owners As mutual institutions our members are our owners. We will ensure that you receive information on the benefits, costs and impacts of any reasonable proposal to change our mutual structure. As far as possible, we will ensure that any information on proposals to change our mutual structure provided to you by other parties is fair and not misleading.
  • We will comply with our legal and industry obligations We will be responsible, prudent managers of our institution, and will comply with all our obligations under the law and relevant codes of practice. We will act fairly and consistently with good banking and financial service industry practice.
  • We will recognise our impact on the wider community Credit unions and mutual building societies have a strong community focus. We will take account of the impact of our operations on staff, the communities we serve and our members. We will promote community engagement and will contribute to community activities and projects.
  • We will support and promote the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice We will promote the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice, ensure that our staff are trained to put it into practice, and support its monitoring and effectiveness.

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