According to an article in The Age “Learn Where You Stand” on Feb 27 2013, customers have many rights when dealing with financial institutions. However they are often unaware of these rights.
The article strongly advocates that customers assert their rights when dealing with the banks to resolve issues that may arise and achieving outcomes that are satisfactory to both parties.
Community awareness regarding the rights of customers dealing with banks and financial institutions is low. This is the view of both Fiona Guthrie, Executive Director for Financial counselling Australia and the Australian Banking Association (ABA). A staggering statistic released by the ABA found that only 25% of customers knew that their bank was obliged to provide financial hardship assistance.
The ABA sets standards for good banking practice and there is a Code of Banking Practice which addresses critical issues regarding direct debits, arranging chargebacks, applying for hardship assistance and good deals for older customers who outline their situation. A copy of the code can be found on the ABA website http://www.bankers.asn.au/
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