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Small business ombudsman questions banking code

The unveiled Banking Code of Practice has some positives but leaves unresolved issues, according to the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell.

In a statement following the ABA’s release of an ethical code on Wednesday, Ms Carnell said she was concerned the code cannot be properly enforced.

“The committee will not be fully independent and banks won’t be obliged to accept its recommendations,” she said.

“The code stipulates only that banks will comply with ‘reasonable’ requests of the committee. This means effectively that banks will only act on recommendations if they feel like it. If they don’t think the committee is reasonable they have an escape clause.

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“It’s like the umpire is appointed by the home team and they don’t have to accept the umpire’s decision.”

At the same time Ms Carnell welcomed the code’s “simplified language” and specific focus on small businesses.

Small business ombudsman questions banking code
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