Deceased Estates Inquiry
The submission to the Banking Code Compliance Committee in relation to its Inquiry into banks’ compliance with Chapter 45 of the Banking Code of Practice was prepared by the Law Council of Australia.
The Code, devised by the Australian Banking Authority (ABA) and approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, ‘sets out the standards of practice and service in the Australian banking industry for individual and small business customers, and their guarantors’. It is a ‘condition of ABA membership that member banks with a retail presence in Australia are required to sign up to the Code’.
The Law Council’s response is framed against the ‘Stakeholder Consultation Questions’ provided by the BCCC.
A key recurring theme from feedback is that practitioners are routinely experiencing communication issues with banks in dealing with deceased estates, including difficulty contacting an informed bank official and inefficient and time-consuming processes.
It is the Law Council’s view that several issues identified in this submission could be addressed by amendments to the Code to enshrine more specific commitments for the banks to uphold with respect to the handling of deceased estates.
The Law Council proposed a number of amendments to fill gaps it has identified in Chapter 45 of the Code in its submission made to the 2021 Independent Review of Banking Code of Practice.