Despite the royal commission exposing outrageous acts of misconduct and breaches of community standards, banks are making few if any changes in their dealings with customers, a poll of My Business readers suggests.
In the website poll, conducted between 12 June and 4 July 2018, readers were asked the question “Have you seen any change in how your bank deals with you since the banking royal commission began?”
It was one of the most decisive verdicts of any My Business poll — a staggering 86.4 per cent of respondents have not seen any changes from their bank since the commission was established in December 2017.
Of the remainder who have noticed positive changes from their bank, 7.6 per cent reported that customer service has improved, and 4.5 per cent said that checks and balances have become more visible.
While no one directly reported witnessing a simplification of bank contracts, a lucky 1.5 per cent of respondents said they had seen “all of the above” to these three points.
Yet with the commission still ongoing, the full effects are unlikely to be seen for some time. Noticeable changes in bank conduct and processes are more likely to come once the commission makes its final recommendations, and indeed whether any new compliance restrictions are placed on them. When those recommendations will be handed down is currently unknown.
Some changes are already occurring behind the scenes though.
For instance, the big four banks recently agreed to protections for customers facing hardship. Under the new Comprehensive Credit Regime, the banks will be required to report the credit histories of half of their customers by September 30 this year.
The banks have collectively agreed to exclude customers currently on hardship provisions with their bank for a 12-month period amid concerns they may be adversely affected by the incoming rules. The federal Attorney-General is set to investigate these concerns.
More high-profile changes have also been announced, such as those by CBA that it will slash $60 million from its executives’ pay after a series of governance failures and spin off its controversy-struck financial planning businesses into a new company.
Meanwhile NAB said it will bring in home lending specialists with a Certificate IV in financial services, in a bid to boost the minimum training standards of its bankers.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.