Revisiting the Australian code of banking practice: Is self-regulation still relevant for improving consumer protection standards?

Howell, Nicola J. (2015) Revisiting the Australian code of banking practice: Is self-regulation still relevant for improving consumer protection standards? UNSW Law Journal, 38(2), pp. 544-586.

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Abstract

The Code of Banking Practice is one of the oldest examples of consumer protection provided through self-regulation in the Australian financial services sector. However, since the Banking Code was first released in 1993, the volume of consumer protection legislation applying to banks has increased exponentially and parts of the Banking Code that once provided new consumer rights have now been largely superseded by legislation. In light of the increasingly complex set of laws and regulations that govern the relationship between banks and their consumer and small business customers it could be argued that the Banking Code has a limited future role. However, an analysis of the Banking Code shows that it adds to the consumer protection standards provided by legislation and can continue to facilitate improvements in the standards of subscribing banks and of other institutions in the financial services sector. Self-regulation and industry codes should continue to be part of the regulatory mix. Any regulatory changes that flow from the recent Financial System Inquiry should also facilitate and support the self-regulation role, but the government should also consider further changes to encourage improvements in industry codes and ensure that the implicit regulatory benefits that are provided, in part, because of the existence of industry codes, are made explicit and made available only to code subscribers.

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ID Code: 84647
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Self-regulation, Banking Code, consumer protection, financial services, consumer credit
ISSN: 0313-0096
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Commercial and Contract Law (180105)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Commercial & Property Law Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 University of New South Wales * Faculty of Law
Deposited On: 03 Jun 2015 22:34
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 05:01

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