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Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice

The Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice sets standards of good practice for subscribing credit unions, mutual banks and mutual building societies – collectively known as customer owned banks.

Customer owned banks that subscribe to the Code follow these standards when dealing with existing and prospective individual or small business customers, or guarantors.

The Code is owned and published by the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) and forms an important part of the broader financial services consumer protection framework.

What does the Code cover?

The Code sets out commitments in several areas, including:

  • advertising
  • interest rates, fees and charges
  • terms and conditions
  • responsible lending
  • reverse mortgages
  • guarantees
  • copies of documents
  • direct debits and chargebacks
  • privacy
  • financial difficulty
  • debt collection
  • dispute resolution

These commitments apply to individuals and small businesses.

Who subscribes to the Code?
Who monitors the Code?

The Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee independently monitors the Code to ensure customer owned banks are meeting their obligations, and achieving service standards Australians can trust.

The Code Compliance and Monitoring team (Code Team) at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) provides code monitoring, secretariat and administrative services to the Committee. The Code Team is a separately operated and funded business unit of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Report a concern

The role of the Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee is to ensure customer owned banks comply with the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice. It does not provide compensation. If you are seeking compensation, talk to your financial services provider or lodge a dispute with the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you believe a customer owned bank may have breached the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice, you can report your concern by emailing the Code Team or calling 1800 367 287 and asking to speak with the Code Team Investigations Manager.

Code compliance publications

Read the Code Compliance Committee’s publications for in-depth analysis of code compliance within the Australian customer owned banking industry.

More information
Customer Owned Banking Code Compliance Committee
Customer Owned Banking Association