The Australian Bankers Association’s revised banking code announced today has a greater focus on customers, but does not go far enough.
RateCity money editor Sally Tindall said the ABA’s theory was right, but the practical steps to be implemented by the banks fell short.
“They’ve made a good start, but it’s by no means pens down for the banks,” she said.
“Giving customers the right to cancel their credit card online is a significant win.
“Currently, 100 percent of cards can be opened online, yet just 10 per cent of cards can be closed the same way.
“This is unfair for customers who don’t want to be put through the wringer by a call centre retention team.
“Telling customers when they are about to incur a fee or rate increase is another welcome change.
“There’s nothing more annoying than getting hit by a fee you didn’t even see coming,” she said.
“Notifying customers before their interest-free period ends is another key change which will help people sidestep unnecessary interest charges.”
More progress needed
Ms Tindall also said that while there are a number of victories in today’s announcement, it is disappointing they didn’t go further.
“We would like to see the banks increase the minimum repayment on credit cards to 10 per cent, to see customers clear their debt faster,” she said.
“Just two cards on the market go this far.
“We’d also like to see all banks that offer credit cards include a low-rate option for their customers.
“RateCity data shows that just 4 per cent of all cards on the market offer an interest rate of under 10 per cent.
“Our banks can do better than this.”